Stuart's Reviews > M. Butterfly

M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang
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Dec 09, 2009

it was amazing

A well-paced, fascinating little play about so many things you think Hwang's story would collapse under the weight, but he props up the disparate and controversial themes with deftly drawn characters who keep us invested and ring true despite most of them appearing for only one or two scenes. Everything dances around the central figure of Gallimard, who is as bizarre as his story demands and yet totally believable- even relatable. Not just a CRYING GAME knock off, the ultimate reveal about Song is not so much his sex (because it's hinted at from very early on) but his true nature, bringing home the ubertheme of how we rarely see, when we are in love, the truth about someone else until it's long past. Even if you find Hwang's theories of racism far-fetched (and some of them are, in my opinion) I completely buy that someone simply sees what they want to see because it appeals to them to do so and when Gallimard turns on Song at the end and denounces the simplicity of his race and culture based explanation there is almost something triumphant in it, as if Hwang is suggesting that perspective is often it's own tunnel vision trap.
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