9 May 2009 | Ismaninb
French cinema is back at the front
All connoisseurs and other snobs know that between 1960 and 1980 French cinema was miles ahead of Hollywood. Directors like Melville knew that they could not compete on special effects etcetera because of the smaller budgets. They took the only possible course: do what Hollywood doesn't dare to do. Chrysalis breaks the Hollywood conventions as well and still stands firm in the French tradition. The pale colours remind us of classics like Le Samourai; the Hoffmann character could have been played by Alain Delon in his heydays. Dialogues are minimalistic and therefor highly effective. The two story lines first are independent and gradually merge. Montage between the two is brilliant; every scene makes you longing for the next one. Only halfway the meaning of the opening scene is partly revealed; only near the end you will understand it fully. So some patience and a bigger attention span than average is demanded - and rewarded. The movie has two weak points. First of all there is the plot. Probably I am not fair, but I find it hard to accept the plots of Robocop and Terminator as well. Never will movies like that get more than 8 stars. Second I find the Hoffmann character not that convincing anymore after his "accident". Don't take my criticism too hard. Deviating from the Hollywood norm involves risks so should be praised. Chrysalis is highly entertaining and intriguing, unless you prefer the standard, brainless and predictable stuff. And never I have seen such cold scenery.