Friday, 1 January 2010

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

*There may be a few spoilers in this 'review'.*

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a fantastic film. Based on a true story, it is about a guy called Jean Dominique Bauby, or Jean-Do, and the story begins with him waking up in hospital, and we find out that he has suffered a massive stroke and has developed a rare condition known as 'Locked-In Syndrome'. This is where your mind, thoughts, brain etc. work perfectly well as though nothing has happened, but the majority of your body is paralysed. In this case, only his left eye could move. The story is about how he is learning to live with the effects of this disease, and how he can learn to cope with lying in a hospital bed all day.
He then finds a way to speak to people by using a special version of the alphabet, which lists the letters in order of frequency in words. Somebody then reads out each letter and he will blink when the right letter is reached. Using this technique he manages to talk to his family, to the doctors and eventually write a book based on his experiences called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Each day he would have a writer come into the hospital and write each letter individually, and when she was not there he would plan and organise the next section to be ready when she arrived the next day.

It is one of the best films I have seen since The Orphanage. The fact that is is also based on a true story about an actual guy who actually wrote a book using his left eye makes it better.
Overall, it is a film I would recommend, and is great if you can read or speak French. Even if you can't, watch it anyway.


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