First things first, Chrysalis is a French film. Thankfully, there is an English language track so I was able to follow along without be asked to read. Always a plus. One of the problems you sometimes run into with alternate language tracks is the voices not matching the intensity of the scene and you can be assured that’s not a problem here. Except for the fact the lips don’t match the words, you’d think the actors were the ones talking, so dynamite effort there.
Second things second. The movie is actually pretty good. It’s French like I said, so obviously you have to give them a little wiggle room, but it’s really good. It’s a futuristic cop movie that they’ve done a good job of keeping realistic. You won’t see any flying cars or ray guns or robots living along side humans. But holograms exist, all cars are electric and there are machines capable of downloading and erasing the memory of a human, all things that more likely than not will exist in 20 years. And if you don’t believe me on that last one, you’d be surprised how close we actually are to having one of those now.
The strongest part of the movie could well be the first five minutes. It really does a nice job of reaching out, grabbing you by the short ones and pulling you in. After the opening, Chrysalis slows down quite a bit. But still trudges forward fast enough to keep you interested. There are two stories going on that help the pacing. It’s not too hard to figure out the two stories are intertwined, but they do a good job of keeping the secrets away from the viewer. That being said, there are hints that give everything away. But if you’re not looking for them, you probably won’t notice.
However, not everything is perfect with the movie. There is an editing glitch in one scene that continually annoys me. Watching it in regular speed it looks like the shot goes to a different shot for a tenth of a second before going to the next shot and it just doesn’t look right. If you go frame by frame the camera actually starts moving before the cut point. I’m not a professional editor, but I know my way around Final Cut a little bit, and I know that scene could have been edited better. In the long run, however, it is just one shot sequence in one scene and doesn’t detract from the movie as a whole.
The acting is pretty good. I guess. It’s a little hard to judge when the voices you hear aren’t the voices talking, but the facial expressions are right and you get pulled in with the lead character. Albert Dupontel is the lead and wins, Marie Guillard is his partner and seems a little overmatched but not bad.
The fight scenes are pretty good too. Alain Figlarz and Dupontel do most of the fighting. Figlarz also had a hand in the stunts and fight scenes of The Bourne Identity and this movie is on the same level.
The movie also does one last thing to appease me. Nice camera work. The spider cam shot is awesome. So bonus points for that.
Chrysalis is presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and 5.1 Surround Sound with a French Language track and English Language track.
A trailer for the movie.
And a making of featurette. Both are only in French, so I had to read. Boo reading………..except for DVD reviews on this lovely site. Read as many of those as you can.
Chrysalis is so good it almost makes up for the fact that French toast is so much better than our toast. Futuristic cop movies usually go overboard on one thing or another, this one keeps its head in the right place and comes through with a good French flick. Feel confident Netflixing it, or picking it up if a store near you actually carries it. Un bon film. Pas tout Ã fait doit possÃ©der, mais certainement a devrait voir.
Gaumont Films Presents Chrysalis. Directed by Julien Leclercq. Starring Albert Dupontel, Marie Guillard, Marthe Keller and Alain Figlarz. Written by Julien Leclercq, Franck Philippon, Nicolas Peufaillit and Aude Py. Running time: 94 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD: March 17th, 2009. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: french, The Bourne Identity