Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Israeli co-directors Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen's ensemble comedy drama Meduzot (aka Jellyfish, 2007) weaves together multiple seriocomic tales of intersecting lives, set against the deep azure backdrop of Middle Eastern seascapes. Affording equal emphasis to each tale, Keret and Geffen first hone in on Batya (Sarah Adler), a young woman employed as a caterer, whose firm places strongest emphasis on weddings. As the film opens, Batya breaks up with her boyfriend, and struggles with her supremely dysfunctional, argumentative parents, who correspond with her only by leaving periodic messages on her answering machine. Her life takes a most unpredictable turn when she happens upon a tearstained little girl (Nikol Leidman) who wanders out of the ocean, wearing only a pair of panties and toting an inner tube -- origin unknown. The foundling gravitates magnetically to Batya and refuses to separate from her. Meanwhile, at Batya's latest assignment -- the Hebrew wedding of Michael (Gera Sandler) and Keren (Noa Knoller) -- the gorgeous bride breaks a leg while attempting to escape from a locked toilet, thus inevitably delaying her honeymoon in the Caribbean. Also present at the wedding reception is a Filipino caregiver, Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre), saddled with an array of grouchy, snotty elderly clients who make verbal barbs in Hebrew that she cannot understand. In her private life, Joy struggles with geographical estrangement from her young son -- who still resides in the Philippines -- and remains completely aware of the irony that she's caring for nonfamilial dependents but virtually abandoning her own flesh and blood. And in yet another substory, Malka (Zaharira Harifai), one of Joy's octogenarian clients, gripes and moans about her own actress daughter's participation in an "experimental" version of Hamlet but demonstrates her own ability to reassure and encourage Joy. The ocean -- recurrent throughout the picture -- adds an allegorical layer to the proceedings; in the hands of Keret and Geffen, it symbolizes the narrative juggle of multiple lives, and the lack of self-determinism inherent in any -- the idea that all are wholly subject to the caprices of fate.
boyfriend, caregiver, caterer, estrangement, injury, ocean, toilet, wedding