Dienstag, 25. Februar 2014

[English] Movie Review: Butterflies are free (1972)

This 1972 movie, based on a stage play by Leonard Gershe, is a story about a young blind man named Don Baker (Edward Albert), who moved to San Fancisco from the suburbs and is living alone for the first time in his life. Having been dumped by the very girlfriend who got him out of his mother's house, he meets Jill Tanner (Goldie Hawn), his new next-door-neighbout (and that's literally), and things take their course.

The movie has a lovely air of amateur theatre, but the acting is well beyond anything amateur.

As for the blind angle, young Don is battling familiar daemons. People talking too loud or whispering, shockwaves when finally discovering person is blind, people addressing his sighted companion, dancing around the word "blind", and all that topped off with the "seeing someones face with your hands" thing, which may be fun with a pretty young girl, but not with certain other people.

Going out without your cane, even when accompanied by a sighted guide, may not be something worth copying. And there may be a little more to shopping than counting the number of steps to the store. Other than that, the portray feels rather realistic, including the fact that Don, while being kind, charming and funny, is also carrying around some serious emotional baggage.

The first prize however goes to his mother (Eileen Heckart). Her snide remarks sent me to the floor (almost literally) more than once, and her own journey from a somewhat condescending overprotection to acceptance of her son's true needs, and her way of finding a way to still make it work, is a great element of this story.

All in all, "Butterflies are free" is a charming, entertaining and at times reasonably smart movie, and it's a movie about a blind person that a blind person can watch without punching holes in the telly. Thumbs up for that.

"Butterflies are free" on Wikipedia

P.S. And if you can't find it anywhere else, you may try YouTube.

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