Eye For Film >> Movies >> Who Killed Bambi? (2003) Film Review
Isabelle works as a student nurse with her cousin in the surgical unit of a large hospital. She meets the mysterious Dr Philipp in the hallway one evening and faints for no apparent reason. Isabelle's fainting seems to repeat itself several times, regardless of the time of day or night, and she is told by Dr Philipp that she must go and see an ENT specialist, because she has a condition that can be corrected by surgery. He insists on calling her Bambi because, like the Disney character, she has trouble staying on her feet. She becomes increasingly suspicious of the good doctor and his unhealthy interest in her strange malaise. Convinced he's hiding something, she begins to investigate him with unnerving consequences...
It seems that the anaesthetic has gone missing, so there is a crackdown and it is put under lock and key, but then it seems that previously safe anaesthetic has become faulty and that several patients are waking up in the middle of operations. Isabelle suspects that the doctor is tampering with it, but isn't sure why. She tells her cousin (Catherine Jacob), who airily dismisses her suspicions, although it is her cousin who discovers the doctor's nasty secret.
He is stealing anaesthetic from bottles and filling them up with saline. He then returns to the hospital late at night when there is minimal staff on duty and commits unmentionable crimes.
The film has been called "a Hitchcockian chiller" and there are definite echoes of Coma, but I'm afraid it lacks the pace and menace of either these comparisons. Laurent Lucas, as the creepy doctor, has a suitable stillness and malice about him, but he is such an obvious bad guy that he doesn't generate the suspense the film is crying out for and is never sufficiently frightening to make you feel that he's is a psycho, which he clearly is; he remains nothing more than a pervert.
Sophie Quinton, as Isabelle (Bambi), brings a certain doe-eyed innocence to her role, but never truly engages. While watching the film, you almost feel that you are seeing it from one remove apart; you are never sufficiently disturbed, or scared.
However, I wouldn't recommend a stay in hospital.
This is the directorial debut of Gilles Marchand, who was co-screenwriter on Human Resources and Harry, He's Here To Help. He fails to reproduce the originality, or plunge the depths, of either of these movies.
However, Bambi is well constructed and engrossing and Pierre Milon's cinematography quite superb, but the film itself doesn't entirely deliver and there is a David Lynchian finale that seems quite superfluous.Reviewed on: 20 Sep 2005