The ‘One Day’ song that foreshadowed its tragic end
(Credits: Netflix)


The ‘One Day’ song that foreshadowed its tragic end

Fans of David Nicholls’ bestselling novel One Day knew what they were getting into when they tuned into the Netflix adaptation. But, they hoped against hope that the end would somehow not traumatise them all over again. 

Of course, that was not to be because that would betray the very core of the story. For astute observers who hadn’t read the book or seen the movie, the clues were laid bare from the very start. Dex and Em’s story in One Day was always going to be tragic.

In the Netflix series One Day, starring Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod as Dexter and Emma, the second episode transports viewers to 1989, a year into Dexter and Emma’s evolving friendship. Against the backdrop of their diverging paths, a haunting melody permeates the opening scenes—‘Un Bel Di Vedremo’ from Giacomo Puccini’s iconic opera, Madame Butterfly. This deliberate choice of music serves as more than mere background ambience; it is a harbinger of the fate that awaits our protagonists.

Madame Butterfly, renowned for its tragic portrayal of unrequited love and shattered dreams, parallels the trajectory of Dexter and Emma’s relationship. The opera’s themes of longing, betrayal, and irreparable loss find resonance in their tumultuous journey. By introducing this musical motif early in the series, the creators try to cautiously prepare the audience for the emotional rollercoaster that lies ahead.

As Dexter’s life unfolds across the subsequent episodes, the echoes of tragedy reverberate with increasing intensity. His descent into addiction, the unravelling of his career, and the loss of his loved ones mirror the operatic grandeur of despair depicted in Madame Butterfly. Each setback, each heartache, serves as a prelude to the devastating climax that awaits.

What is Madame Butterfly about?

Madame Butterfly, renowned for its lush melodies and evocative orchestration, is an opera composed by Giacomo Puccini with a libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. Premiering in 1904, the opera is set in Nagasaki, Japan, at the turn of the 20th century. The story revolves around the tragic romance between a young Japanese geisha named Cio-Cio-San, also known as Butterfly, and an American naval officer named Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton.

Pinkerton, stationed in Nagasaki, enters into a temporary marriage arrangement with Butterfly, intending to divorce her once he returns to America. Butterfly, deeply in love with Pinkerton, takes the marriage seriously and eagerly awaits his return. She bears his child during Pinkerton’s absence, firmly believing in their enduring love.

Years pass, and Pinkerton eventually returns to Japan with his American wife. Heartbroken and devastated, Butterfly is faced with the crushing reality of her unrequited love. In a final act of desperation, she chooses to end her own life rather than endure the shame of abandonment.

Now that you know all that, you can ugly cry while watching One Day on Netflix and catch the trailer here: