While I was still getting over the gruesome vibes of The Watcher, my eyes stumbled upon another ominous show on Netflix. Black Butterflies has French origins, and it is a crime thriller that promises to be unique, though with a pretentious idea.
The series consists of six episodes lasting over five hours in total. My motivation behind starting Black Butterflies was its description or synopsis. It mentioned the phrase ‘creative rut,’ something I have experienced from close quarters. And, of course, I had to review the series sooner or later.
So, if you plan to binge-watching Black Butterflies, here’s my analysis to help you through.
Black Butterflies Review Summary
With a well-thought-of narration, Black Butterflies never fails to amaze the viewer. All its preparations come good at the right time, thereby offering ample intrigue.
Black Butterflies Synopsis
Knowing he doesn’t have much time to live, an old man hires a writer to pen down his biography. However, unexpected revelations lead to several shocking surprises for the writer, who has been living in a creative rut for a long time.
Created by Bruno Merle and Oliver Abbou, Black Butterflies stars Nicolas Duvauchelle (Adrien), Niels Arestrup (Albert), Axel Granberger (Albert (young)), Brigitte Catillon (Catherine), Henny Reents (Nastya), Alyzee Costes (Solange), Alice Belaidi (Nora), Sami Bouajila (Carrel), among others.
What Works for Black Butterflies?
Concept and Execution
The French show has an attractive hook that makes you plunge without a second thought. What’s off about interesting ideas is they tend to fade after a while. I was also beginning to think that Black Butterflies will gradually be drabby. However, the makers ensured I was wrong.
If you have been watching shows regularly, you know how unique things can get messy and repetitive on the screen. One needs to hone the presentation and add tempting elements to sustain the viewer. On that front, Black Butterflies doesn’t disappoint.
I have a liking for stories with depth. The ones that don’t just pretend to be compelling but actually are. Black Butterflies follows one such tale. It creates a dark premise with a baleful ambiance and then kicks off a suspenseful outing. You will remain invested in the story precisely because of the enigmatic flow.
The best part about Black Butterflies is its ignorance of drama. It doesn’t go over and above the genuine demands of the story to bring showy attention and instead relies on the natural swings. You might predict the ‘what’ but not the ‘how.’
Specifically, I loved how the show communicated the timelines with subtle visual hints. I am restrained from writing specifics because they might end up as spoilers. However, I hope you appreciate the exact moment of one such creative brilliance in Black Butterflies.
Furthermore, the twists and turns are plotted to suit the narrative of the series.
The makers have ensured the background score of Black Butterflies doesn’t totter. With the right beats and sounds, the show amplifies its plot. You will be gripped by the starts and intimidated by the crescendos.
It is all about the way of telling stories, and Black Butterflies chooses that of the culprit. Most crime dramas are told from the second person’s point of view, but the true and raw portrayal comes when the subject becomes the narrator. The French series makes the worst performer of the class lead the bunch and guess what, it works.
Nicolas Duvauchelle leads the cast of Black Butterflies as Adrien. He plays a writer, and quite a characteristic one too. The actor creates a strict outline for himself and follows it religiously with a raw mien. Nicolas doesn’t rely on exorbitant means of acting. Instead, he uses slight variations like a devout professional.
Niels Arestrup is calm and comprehensive as Albert. His mystique screen presence elevates a conservatively written role to great heights. Being in the cinematic realm for a long time, Arestrup’s experience comes in handy when most of his performance hovers around subtle reflections. You would consistently feel magnetic energy around Albert, thanks to the actor’s depiction.
The young Albert is played by Axel Granberger, who mixes charisma with brutal ambiguity. In crime thrillers, it is pertinent to raise the gray shade, and Axel helps Black Butterflies achieve it. Brigitte Catillon grows with the show and hangs herself in the middle of the chaos. As Catherine, she advances during pivotal scenes while staying constrained otherwise.
Alyzee Costes might end up surprising you as Solange in Black Butterflies. Even though it seems adorable, her demeanor carries a wise touch of cruelty, which allows Costes to deliver an eventful cruise. Henny Reents, though with limited screen time, adds life to Nastya. Her expressions are at the heart of her depiction and allow you to appreciate Henny’s efforts.
What Doesn’t Work for Black Butterflies?
Many of you might find the show on the predictable side of things, but I would still emphasize the what and how theory. Barring this, there were some marginal technical hiccups, not enough to be added as a pointer. I particularly disliked a major twist toward the end that triggers a domino effect. It felt unnatural.
Black Butterflies is a well-made French series that deserves your time. You might find it predictable because of the pretentious concept; still, the show never goes overboard to draw attention.
The following section contains spoilers.
Is Black Butterflies based on a true story?
No, Black Butterflies is not based on a true story, according to the official information.
Black Butterflies ending explained.
The series doesn’t equivocally agree on a specific ending.
In the end, Adrien is caught by the cops, his mother goes into the zone of self-realization, and Nora manages to get her child back. Now, there can be several endings because they have left the noose open.
Adrien can tell the police about Albert and Solange, or he may choose to stay mum, saying his book was a work of fiction. However, the latter would push him closer to the bars as the writer has already sent a confession note with facts about his book to his publisher.
But Adrien knew nothing about Carrel’s presence at Albert’s house. So, if Mathilde tries to put it on him, she will fail. However, she can find evidence of Albert’s murder in the recorder Adrien used to document their conversations.
In any case, Adrien and Catherine have to go to jail because of the fact sheet prepared by the writer. The police only have to confiscate his laptop to retrieve the same.