Sexy and funny, The Butler is where circus meets theatre and satire holds the mirror up to the middle classes.
The Butler takes a hard look at the social manners and conventions of western culture, with often bizarre results. The central character of the butler presides over a dinner party. He stands apart from the action having seen and heard it all before, setting the whole event within both a cultural milieu and a bleak universe.
In counterpoint to the butler’s gloom, the dinner party guests are all exuberance. Their dialogue consists of snippets, expressive of shallowness of behaviour, of the skull beneath the flesh. Every trivial event – the taking of hats and coats, the saying of grace, the polite chit-chat, the serving of hours-d’oeuvres, expands by natural progression into grotesque and outrageous circus antics. The resulting action is chaotic and delightful, but underlain with an emptiness that the characters must defy. Here is a froth and bubble above the dark and the stark. It’s like nothing seen before but it is instantly recognisable.
The Butler is X-rated with Nudity and explicit images used in second half.