By Hemanth Kissoon
Imagine a French Philip K. Dick-esque mind mess-up sci-fi action thriller straight-to-DVD gem. That’s CHRYSALIS. We don’t get many action-thrillers on these shores from our Gallic brothers and sisters, but when we do genre junkies should check them out; recent ones include the fantastic: THE NEST (the French DIE HARD) and 36 aka 36 QUAI DES ORFÈVRES (the French HEAT). Not wanting to be too trite, CHRYSALIS is like a French MINORITY REPORT.
Dropped into two parallel but intertwining stories, a car crash causes a young woman to enter a special clinic to be physically repaired, as well as to reboot her memories; while two cops are tracking a multiple killer through the Parisian underworld.
A gripping kung fu fight in a cramped bathroom, a one-shot on-foot chase through a factory, and a surround sound pushing shoot out, are some of the stand outs, along with a FIFTH ELEMENT-style robotic hologram operation; CHRYSALIS is achingly slick.
The future is recognisable. Set about twenty years from now, Paris’s skyline has been influenced a little by Dubai. Like CHILDREN OF MEN there are not huge leaps in technology – retina operated door locks, holograms, electronic cars. This modernity is portrayed in washed-out blacks, blues, silvers and greys, making our future seem bleak yet stylish.
Directed by Julien Leclercq with an extreme amount of panache and lit stylishly by cinematographer Thomas Hardmeier, this is very satisfying entertainment.