Neflix Update No. 77: “Jellyfish”

March 19, 2013

NIKOL LEIDMAN and SARAH ADLER

NIKOL LEIDMAN and SARAH ADLER

Sometimes a mesmerizing movie is one that leaves you uncertain as to what you just saw. Jellyfish (Meduzot in Hebrew) — a 2007 Israeli film, fits that category.

This dramatic comedy, or is it comic drama — see what I mean? — is based on a story by Shira Geffen. The subject matter is the frustrating lives of three women living in Tel Aviv. On the one hand, they are all lonely and downbeat — “resigned” might be the best term — but at the same time there is a spark of humor and warmth in the connections among them.

Batya, played by Sarah Adler, works somewhat ineptly in a dead-end job at a banquet hall. She is fired by her boorish boss, thrown over by her boyfriend, and neglected by her high-profile mother. Not unexpectedly, Batya isn’t in a good mood most of time, but her life is charmed when she encounters a mysterious mute little girl (Nikol Leidman) who wades out of the sea with a flotation tube around her waist and no other visible means of support, notably parents.

NIKOL LEIDMAN

NIKOL LEIDMAN

Things don’t go much better for  Keren, played by Noa Knoller, a newly married bride whose Caribbean honeymoon is derailed before it starts when she breaks her leg while trying to climb out of a locked bathroom stall. And Joy (Ma-nenita De LaTorre), an immigrant who cares for a disagreeable old woman, is lonely for the son she left behind in the Philippines.

Clearly, a strain of melancholy runs through this film, but in the end it is not a downer. While it portrays the weightiness of everyday urban life, it also explores the undramatic but positive things that can touch people when their lives intersect.

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2 Responses to “Neflix Update No. 77: “Jellyfish””

  1. shoreacres Says:

    Your first sentence tickled me: “Sometimes a mesmerizing movie is one that leaves you uncertain as to what you just saw.” I happened to see “Beasts of the Southern Wild” a week ago, and I still haven’t managed to wrap my mind around it. I watched the DVD with a friend, and when it was over, we looked at one another and said, “What was that?”

    The photo here of Nikol Leidman is compelling. I’d look for this film just to find out more about the girl with the floatie. The other characters are fairly recognizable, but she’s quite the unique addition to the plot.

  2. charlespaolino Says:

    Yes, we’ve been eager to see “Beasts of the Southern Wild” again. Visually it was a marvel, and the performances by folks who weren’t actors were stunning, but — “What was that?”

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