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BUTTERFLY KISSES Film Review
Directed By Rafael Kapelinski
A slow creeping realisation.
BUTTERFLY KISSES follows Kyle (Liam Whiting) and Jarred (Byron Lyons) as they tumble through teenage life with their friend Jake (Theo Stevenson) following behind. From watching porn, to conflicts in a Pool Hall to deciding which woman’s the fittest, the trio lead a stereotypically seedy life. There are recognisable characters and memes including a hopeless father-figure, an absent father, a thug who is as violent as he is loyal, an edgy blonde female and a long-suffering mother.
Initially, the slow, unravelling pace of the plot and sepia tones feel a little jarring and pretentious, but soon add to the surreal, slow build. As dark secrets start to surface, the distance caused by this trancelike portrayal is welcome.
The script is sparse, but strong, with conceivable conversation and excellent use of suggestion rather than declaration. The clever use of script is carried by the brilliant acting from Whiting, Lyons and Stevenson. Their performances are subtle and allow the observer to become immersed and invested in their relationship. As Jake, Stevenson shatters the stereotype of the sexually depraved, with a performance so understated and modest that it makes the observer question their own inferences. Then BUTTERFLY KISSES develops into an intense and shocking finale as the inferences are confirmed. However, it is worth noting that although BUTTERFLY KISSES contextualises and explores a character that would so often be demonised and two-dimensional, it does not excuse or defend.
BUTTERFLY KISSES is stylishly composed and beautifully acted, but desperately uncomfortable.
Holly Darling Freeman
Britflicks' Stuart Wright spoke to BUTTERFLY KISSES director Rafael Kapelinski on the Britflicks Podcast.
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