For us French illiterate – “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly“.

You know it’s a French movie when you see a title like this.  Big Hollywood studios wouldn’t risk at the box office to use a name like this.  And of course, for the sake of box office, they didn’t make this movie.  

The movie was adapted from the same-name book by Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby.  A simple and true story: suffered from a sudden stroke, Bauby was completely paralyzed except his left eye.  With nothing left but imagination and urge to communicate, he started to write a book using his left eye.  The result was a brilliant and touching bestseller.  But somehow I was not convinced. 

It was recommended by a friend with good taste in movie.  But I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it very much.  Our seats didn’t help either – they were too close to the screen.  WARNING: do NOT sit too close to the screen when watching this movie.  Don’t ask why, you will thank me for this. 

Although I didn’t read the book, I felt that the movie only scratched the surface.  “Set your imagination free”, come on, isn’t this theme a little bit old?  Imagin yourself been locked up in a diving bell, you are aware of everything going on but are not able to tell people around you what’s on your mind – no matter how loud you speak, they cannot hear you.  Will “set your imagination free” do?  I don’t think so.  No matter how wild your imagination runs, if you cannot communicate it, life is a living hell.  OK, I confess, I expected the movie to be more depressing.  The studio should have hired a French director instead of an American. 

Disclaimer: I did not intend to write a movie critique 😉