Year Released: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 78 minutes
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Israeli filmmakers Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen are responsible for the inert drama “Jellyfish,” which tries and fails to establish an Altmanesque tapestry of interconnected stories involving three very different women in Tel Aviv. One story focuses on an emotionally withdrawn waitress whose life is turned upside down when she discovers a mute little girl who seems to have been abandoned on a beach. Another story involves a fickle bride whose wedded bliss is disrupted when she breaks her leg during the wedding reception – her Caribbean honeymoon is jettisoned and she winds up in a crummy downtown Tel Aviv hotel. The third tale follows a Philippine caregiver who is hired to assist with an elderly Alzheimers patient.
The theme of broken-down interpersonal communications permeates each story: self-imposed isolation with the waitress, self-indulgence carelessness in the second, and the inability to speak the local language in the third. It’s a fine idea, but Keret and Geffen fumble their opportunity by stuffing the film with obnoxious characters, tin-eared dialogue and more than a little predictability in where the stories are going to lead. Although it runs 78 minutes, it feels like 78 hours.
On top of that, factor in dreary cinematography, clumsy editing, and the misuse of “La Vie en Rose” as a theme song (sung ineptly by Israeli pop star Corinne Allal). The result is a “Jellyfish” with no sting.
Posted on April 4, 2008 in Reviews by Phil Hall
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