Connoisseurs of cinematic quirk are bound to find something worth liking in Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret’s everything-that-plummets-must-converge concoction. Feel like some magical realism? Photographs spring to life and mute girls walk out of the sea. How about those always-reliable deadpan digs at bad art? Submitted for your disapproval, here’s a ridiculous, avant-garde version of Hamlet, complete with soft-shoe routines and repetitive chanting (“For I must hold my tongue?/?Tongue, tongue, tongue!”). What about overlapping story lines, in which odd coincidences and chance meetings result in healing epiphanies? Oh, you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to Heaven.
An Israeli writer known for his wry short stories, Keret (along with Geffen, his partner in both crime and life) imbues Jellyfish’s parallel narratives with a signature fabulist sensibility. It’s a given that the lives of the disaffected waitress (Adler), the broken-footed bride (Knoller) and the homesick Filipina caregiver (De Latorre) will intersect. Whimsy will occasionally be mistaken for profundity, and there will be hugs. Along the way, the films burps up enough emotional moments pitched between funny-ha-ha and funny-tragic to underwrite the movie’s Camera d’Or win at Cannes last year. But the offbeat path is now a well-beaten one; perhaps it’s time to try something truly different.
Cast and crew