“The Year of the Shark”, the eco-friendly remake of “Jaws” by the Boukherma brothers


A senior obviously enjoyed his ride on an inflatable paddle. Approaching the coast, he pauses to send a naughty message to his wife… The ocean is choppy, the phone falls in the water, the withdrawal too, and the image turns red bloody. A shark has arrived in Gironde and is prowling the bay of La Pointe. The maritime gendarmerie is in charge of the case. In particular Maja (Marina Foïs), from the Hebrew “princess of the sea” : braids stuck in a fin on the skull, turquoise eyeshadow and navy outfit, she intends to make up for all the years spent helping out Germans who have broken down Zodiacs, and to act with the help of two young teachers included in her cause, to live the big thrill. Finally, as sheriff of the waves, she responds to a fairly common aspiration these days: to save the planet.

The composition of the plans, where everything is perfectly arranged and matched, we dive into a miniature France

Directed by the twins Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma, The Year of the Shark is the first French shark film… A real bet. After attacking each other, in their first feature film, teddy, (2020) in the figure of the werewolf, the two brothers, trained ten years ago at the Ecole de la Cité, founded by Luc Besson, pursued their goal of scaring and making people laugh. But here, the comedy sweetens the nightmare, so much so that we are bound to peck, here and there, a few clever gags and a few visions of horror. The most annoying thing is the systematic inclusion of the film in the global “cata-routine” that we have been confronted with for two or three years.

fragile joy

From the monster film that grabs us by the throat and does not let us loosen the fingers of our immunity, we quickly find ourselves in a parody with nods to the Covid-19 pandemic and global warming. There are the “pro” and the “anti”-sharks, it’s 38°C, it’s a heat wave and the sardines of more than fifty edges migrate to the northern hemisphere, where they now feel at home . These nota bene end up taking up too much space and transforming attempts to trigger dread into sleeve effects that are as grand-guignoles as they are obsolete.

As with Spielberg, The Year of the Shark opens with an economic debate: what do we say to the population? Should we close the beaches and remove all activities? The film then continues, in Moby Dick du Sud-Ouest, on the police’s small boat. Without fanning the suspense, which the viewer will no doubt do on their own, Maja gently arms herself with a dose of sedative… “We are in 2022! », she points out. From this point of view, The Year of the Shark respects the ecological awakening of Peter Benchley, the author of Sea teeth. Died in 2006, he often said that he would not have written Jaws if he had known sharks better. He then spent the rest of his life demonizing the image of these big fish, pleading for the preservation of an endangered species. Should we stop living for a shark?, questions the film in what it considers most successful. In other words, should we stop swimming, diving and paddling to leave life for an animal that can eat us?

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