Directed by: Debanjan Majhi Starring: Aryann Rpy, Kheya Chattopadhyay, Aritra Dutta, Sharonyo Banerjee and Skye Steedman Short Film Review: by Rachel Pullen
War films have been done, again and again, and that sadly is because war never seems to end, history has a way of repeating itself I guess. So here we are, facing another tale of a soldier desperate to escape the madness of his surroundings and make his way back home, but despite this take being a little played out during war films, I mean who does not actually want to be back at home with their loved ones, director Debanjan Majhi approaches the subject from another angle to create his short Butterflies of War.
Amidst the war- torn lands our leading man Pvt. Martin, played by Aryann Rpy, struggles to make his way back to his home land of Bangladesh, but during his turbulent travels he finds himself forcing his way into a young woman’s home to seek refuge.
Here these two unlikely companions develop a friendship as they delve into their pasts and the effects that the war has had on them.
The real factor of this short film is not the war itself, it’s the juxtaposition between the 2 characters, our young lady is privileged, living in a home with water and electricity [a luxury during the war] as she is the daughter of a UN member, while our protagonist is a soldier, facing the hardships of war and defending himself on a daily basis.
But both come together like negatively charged ions, as they realise not all personal hardships occur on the battlefield.
This tale is one of relationships, of how even during the unkindness of war, we still can find hope in a connection with another, we are social beings at the end of the day and human condition calls out for us to be desired, to desire and to have relationships be they social or sexual.
We see this desire for a deeper connection shine through between our two lead roles, and it offers some calm during the extreme backdrop that they are forced to play in.
Butterflies of War is competent in its delivery, offering up a believable helping of locations, costumes and makeup, throwing us into the deep end of the hardships of war, if this short was made on a small budget you certainly would have no way of knowing it.
Gratefully this movie is subtitled as dialogue is heavy and important, often switching between languages, it’s a well needed addition to the short, and while the language change can be slightly distracting it does not take away from the quality of the script.
An enjoyable and heart-wrenching piece, Butterflies of War is a great addition to anyone who enjoys war films or even tales of human kindness.