'Butterfly' is currently streaming on Disney Plus Hostar. Here is our review of the mystery thriller.
The story takes place prominently in the backdrop of a residential complex in a metro. Geetha (Anupama Parameswaran) works for a CA firm. Her elder sister Vyjayanthi (Bhumika Chawla) is a reputed criminal lawyer fighting for justice for the victims of sexual harassment against her estranged husband (Rao Ramesh).
When Vyjayanthi's kids get kidnapped, it falls upon Geetha to trace them. The mystery kidnapper, meanwhile, makes multiple attempts to squeeze her dry by demanding ransom amounts. What does Geetha do to rescue her niece and nephew? Who is the kidnapper and is money the only motive driving the criminal's misdeeds?
Nothing is worse than a thriller/mystery drama that turns out to be a sorry excuse for a comedy by caricaturish characters. 'Butterfly' is one such film. The setting is an upscale apartment whose inhabitants lack self-respect, ethics, scruples, common sense, or patience. Some of them lack all of these. None of them look real. None of them come across as your neighbour.
The world-building is the only area where 'Butterfly' is somewhat colourful. Anupama's character is sharp-witted but develops cold feet at the drop of a hat probably because of her troubled past. Her boyfriend is introduced without much fuss. It's good that the actress, despite being a star heroine, doesn't mind playing unglamorous roles of this sort. But then, the plus points are too few and far between.
For a film whose running time is 136 minutes, the first hour is spent on redundant ideas and lacklustre screenplay tropes. The comedy is insipid and the performances (barring Anupama's) are amateurish. When the actual kidnapper vs protagonist story arrives, the film gets worse. The kidnapper wants to sound evil and the director thinks that making him sing 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' like a sadist does the job.
Praveen plays a brainless constable who conducts a search of the apartment complex following random cues thrown in by kids. Racha Ravi, Rajitha, and Vennela Ramarao are uniformly forgettable. Dakshin Srinivas’ dialogues for the supporting and other non-lead actors are shorn of realism.
Cinematographer Sameer Reddy's work is very basic. Arviz’s songs are banal when they don't overdo melodrama. Gideon Katta’s background score is sub-par. The editing follows the pattern of the 1990s dubbed movies.
Debutant director Ghanta Satish Babu delivers a shoddy thriller whose big reveal is a thorough disappointment. The plotting is funnily outdated. Ridiculous is the word!