Monster_Groupie’s review published on Letterboxd:
Mental Torture, phisical Disintegration and the Horrors of Death... all packed into One, fantastic McQueen-Prison-Adventure!
"The Rule here is total Silence. We make no Pretence of Rehabilitation here. We're not Priests, we're Processors. A Meat-Packer processes live Animals into edible Meat. We process dangerous Men into harmles Ones. This we accomplish by breaking you. Breaking your phisically, spiritually and here. Strange Things happen to the Head here. Put all Hope out of your Mind, and masturbate as little as possible. It drains the Strength."
Well, this was a real heavy Experience to me and no, I didn't read the Book so far, but I probably will sometimes in the Future, if I should turn from "Movie-Geek" into "Book-Geek"... we'll see!
"Papillon" is not just some ordinary "Prison-Escape"-Flick from the 70's, it felt more like a long, exhausting Odyssey through Hell, including some great Adventure&Hunting-Stuff through the Jungle in the second Half.
But of Course, the Solitary-Confinement-Scenes in the Prison with absolute terrifying-brilliant acting Steve McQueen were my Highlight... watching "Motorcycle-McQueen", turning into a Bug-eating, Dracula-Slave-Style Zombie was something, I've never expected to experience!
This was deffenitely the strongest Performance I personally saw so far from Steve, he and Hoffman gave absolutely everything and made the perfect Escape-Couple!
These french-guyana-Prison's already have quite a bad Reputation and Schaffner knew exactly, how to transfer all the Horror from Reality to Movie-Screen with all the different Facetts!
Doing exhausting Work all Day, fight Lebra and Malaria, Mosquitoes, Man-Hunters, Sharks, deadly Waves and so on... escaping from these Islands is really just something, THE McQueen would try!
The Set-Pieces and Locations were also chosen so wisely and looked fantastic, I really felt myself in the Jungle, protecting myself from evil Mosquitoes all the Time!
The Tension-Level is nearly non-stop on the Edge, I was constantly with our two, poor Fellas and the Ending with a complete obsessed McQueen gave me the Rest.. holy Shit, Greatnes!
Next Stop, "The great Escape", but my first Prison-Experience with Steve also went very successful!
What a heavy-evil, honest Movie about Humanity... I'm satisfied and done as fuck right now!
"HEY, YOU BASTARDS, I'M STILL HERE!"