M. Butterfly

M. Butterfly - David Henry Hwang White male privilege will fuck you up!There are a couple awkward lines and sometimes it feels like Hwang is being far too obvious with the themes of the play, not letting the audience work them out for themselves, but overall, M Butterfly is a fascinating study of racial and gender stereotypes in an East vs West battle of sorts. It's also an interesting puzzle to work out, with both leads providing their subjective view-points of events, distorting the truth to show the fantasies they had created. It openly embraces its theatricality, which is one of the reasons the movie is so disappointing in my opinion; it focused too much on realism which made it feel so awkward. The incorporation of the actual opera Madame Butterfly into the play provides an interesting mirror to the characters's situation, although the parallels do veer dangerously close to melodrama in one or two scenes. Obviously, the premise is one that may require a real suspense of disbelief for some - although it is based on a true story - but that feels natural to the play itself. Rene has spent so long building up his perfect fantasy, living out Madame Butterfly with his own apparently submissive beautiful Chinese woman, and he's desperate to hold onto it, even in the face of destruction. It's a play that would require a strong director and actors to match. Highly recommended.