Directed by: Christopher Frank | 110 minutes | drama, thriller, romance | Actors: Bernard Giraudeau, Valérie Kaprisky, Caroline Cellier, Jacques Perrin, Béatrice Agenin, Barbara ,, Nielsen, David Jalil, Philippe Lemaire, Pierre Vaneck, Jean-Paul Dubarry, Betty Assenza, Serge Gaubardy, Charlotte Kady, Gill Matt, Antoine Nikola , Jean-Claude Pancrazi, Emmanuelle Seigner, Hedwige Thabuis
Sultry summer pictures in a film that is further ruled by bare breasts. And whether only the latter lives up to the name of “brooding thriller” remains to be seen. This does not alter the fact that Valérie Kaprisky with her beautiful appearance does indeed throw a sensual veil over the film. But unfortunately the whole quickly tends to sexual spasms and the result is not very subtle and exciting. In “L’année des méduses” (the year of the jellyfish), it is the storyline that unfolds between all that is naked, instead of the other way around.
Teen idol Valérie Kaprisky makes Chris’s character his own in this film; a sixteen-year-old French Lolita who morbidly tries to make older men fall for her. Kaprisky coldly exposes the dangerously defiant of young women. The cool but almost diabolical appeal that Kaprisky puts into the character makes Chris an acting performance worthy of respect. A year earlier, in 1983, Kaprisky appeared with Richard Gere in the movie “Breathless”.
Seduction and attraction, that’s what “L’année des méduses” is all about. And those who allow themselves to be carried along in the field of tension of ‘resisting’, may experience thriller-like influences in a resulting game of female abuse of power and manipulation. However, a multi-layered thriller scenario with unexpected twists is not forthcoming. Writer and director Christopher Frank, on the other hand, seems to want to serve the viewer with impressions of seductive situations and settings. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” is perhaps the underlying message.
And temptation goes further than between man and woman. The blue sea, the cocktails and the famous beaches of St. Tropez in the south of France have also attractively portrayed Christopher Frank. A temporary escape to sunny holiday resorts. The almost annoying synthesizer music is sobering, an invention of the eighties that of course had to be tried out as widely. “L’année des méduses” has long, sometimes somewhat poetic conversations between people. And because real tension does not reveal itself, this film is more of a psychological drama than a chilling thriller.
Count the seconds in which the female protagonists with a covered upper body are in the picture. There will be few… It says something about the frenzy with which nudity is woven into this film. A statement from the filmmaker? The viewer will certainly muse away from the beautiful people, beaches and holiday resorts. But the film will not produce a lasting memory.