This is a revised review of the short film Mark of the Butterfly - read the original review here. Although the focus, from what I can tell, of "Mark of the Butterfly" is to raise awareness of the autoimmune disease Lupus - Chris Carter's film easily exceeds just that. Sure, this is definitely a film about Lupus, but it's also a movie about hope. From the initial anger and denial from leading lady Sarah to the inspirational calls to action underpinning this short film. From the excellent acting to the nicely done montage sequences, it's easy to fall into this film and just as easy to relate to the main character Sarah - even though most viewers won't ever experience Lupus firsthand. Most won't. There's no question that this is a low-budget venture, but it's micro indie done well, and even when it slips a little, it always gets back on track, entertainingly delivering its hopeful message.
It goes a little something like this: Sarah Myers is an attorney on the path to success. So much, in fact, that she's just been offered and accepted a new job as district attorney. The downside? She has Lupus and is not entirely sure how to deal with it. That includes not telling her boss about her illness before accepting her new job. There is a family history and a reason she chose to keep her illness to herself, but I'll leave that for you, the viewer, to find out. I'm guessing you can imagine the direction this film takes as it tells Sarah's story, and honestly? It's not only handled well - but also respectfully. There's a lot of ground covered in around thirty minutes and for the most part? Carter and his team have done an excellent job making this an easy flick to recommend.
So, we now come to some of my technical observations and realistically? Things look pretty decent, although a little rough around the edges. It's been a short while since I've watched the original, and it's tough to actually notice the changes made without watching the film back to back with the original version. What I did notice, however, was that "Mark of the Butterfly" felt like it flowed better than the original. Again, it's hard to compare two different edits of the same film without watching the original and then this new version - but things felt smoother. Things felt more to the point and perhaps, even more polished up. Brittany Altenbach holds the reigns tightly as leading lady Sarah - and does a fantastic job. Her portrayal of the various states of thought feels real - maybe even spot on. All around, "Mark of the Butterfly" is a well-acted indie film - making it that much easier to forgive some of the expected indie technical limitations. There are still some audio issues, but they now fall into the more mechanical sounding dialog area. If you know, you know. With that written, I had no problem understanding what was being said - allowing the story to push forward. There are still some lighting and focus issues that distract here and there - but by the time the film was over, most of that was forgotten.
So, there you have it. "Mark of the Butterfly" delivers a solid bit of entertainment as it hammers home its message not just regarding Lupus but also hope. This reworked version is a definite improvement over the original, and my new rating reflects that. This is a proud indie flick that makes it easy to recommend to others. My favorite scene? A great speech around the end of the film really worked the content in an awesome way - for me, at least—three and a half stars.