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Chrysalis

ChrysalisIn a world where even your own
  memories are not safe, it isn
t only
  criminals who are prepared to risk
  everything to get their hands on
  Chrysalis..
. A gripping debut film
  from writer-director Julien Leclercq
  that is now available on DVD,
  Chrysalis
is a visionary representation
  of a near-future Paris (about 2025)
  that is as impressively convincing
  as it is chilling...”


WHILE DRIVING THROUGH THE STREETS OF PARIS one evening, high-tech holographic surgeon Professor Brügen (Marthe Keller: Black Sunday; Marathon Man) and her daughter Manon (Melanie Thierry) are involved in a terrible car accident in which Manon is critically injured.

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, tough cop David Hoffman (Albert Dupontel: Intimate Enemies, A Very Long Engagement, Irreversible) and his partner and lover Sarah (Smadi Wolfman) are shooting it out with an escaped criminal — a former Bulgarian Secret Service agent turned black-marketeer named Dimitri Nicolov (celebrated stunt co-ordinator Alain Figlarz — The Bourne Identity — who is also responsible for the brilliant fight choreography). The shootout ends in a nerve-racking Mexican stand-off, but the ruthless Nicolov brutally murders Sarah and makes his escape.

His life in tatters, Hoffman lives for vengeance. But his new partner — rookie officer Marie Becker (Marie Guillard: The Visitors 2, The Fifth Element), who joins the European Police from the vice squad — becomes involved with his vigilante quest to track down Nicolov, putting them both in grave danger.

During the investigation a human trafficking ring is uncovered. A number of people suffering amnesia also turn up and bodies with brain damage are discovered — all with their eyelids similarly scarred. What causes this strange phenomenon and who is responsible for it?

And what is Marie's relationship with Charles Becker (Patrick Bauchau: Panic Room, Clear And Present Danger) from Intelligence? Who is the man who looks remarkably like Nicolov? Is one of the dead girls the missing Tatiana from Eastern Europe and what has happened to her sister, Elena?

A lead takes Hoffman to the clinic where Professor Brügen is treating her daughter, using her advanced medical skills and recovered memory therapies. But how does Professor Brügen connect with Nicolov? What is the terrible secret that she is hiding from her daughter? And just who do you trust when you've lost your memory?

An engaging debut feature from writer-director Julien Leclercq, Chrysalis has all the answers. It is a slick, neo-noir, sci-fi action thriller that is said to be in the tradition of Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall and A Clockwork Orange — we found it rather more polished and not as violent as the latter!

One of the most stylish and accomplished debut sci-fi movies in recent years, Chrysalis is
a gripping thriller with cyber-punk undertones. It also features several explosive, close-combat fight sequences designed by Alain Figlarz. Subtitles are clear and not intrusive.

It is generally accepted that no cinema-going nation appreciates film quite like the French. French filmmakers consistently produce movies with a certain flair and finesse that's rarely found elsewhere. Chrysalis — the title of the film is the name given to the technique for digitalizing human memory that allows a person's memories to be stored and, if need be, removed from the brain — has some violence with blood but no real gore, the well choreographed fights you would expect from the master and a tight, tense and compulsive storyline that keeps you guessing.

Also featuring in Chrysalis is Estelle LeFebure as nurse Clara; Claude Perron as Commissaire Miller of the European Police; Cyril Lecomte as Le Legiste; Francis Renaud as Yuri; and Manon Chevalier as the enchanting Clémence. The original music is by Jean-Jacques Hertz and François Roy and the film is Produced by Franck Chorot.

Chrysalis is now available on DVD (released on 9 June, 2008) from Momentum Pictures priced at £15.99. Certificate: 15. Special Features include Making Of featurette, story-boards and trailer.

"Chrysalis… has some violence with blood but no real gore, the well choreographed fights you would expect from the master and a tight, tense and compulsive storyline that keeps you guessing" — MotorBar