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Who Killed Bambi? (18)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

SADLY, the most intriguing aspect of this French hospital thriller is its provocative title, which ends up being as ambiguous as the film itself.

Directed by Gilles Marchand (an acclaimed French screenwriter), Who Killed Bambi? follows the fortunes of plucky new nursing student, Isabelle (Sophie Quinton), as she begins to suspect one of her fellow doctors, Philippe (Laurent Lucas), of performing ill deeds.

Philippe is good-looking but arrogant, although it is him who christens Isabelle 'Bambi' after she mysteriously passes out in front of him on a couple of occasions.

While being diagnosed for her lapses, however, Isabelle discovers that Philippe enjoys sexually abusing his female patients while they are unconscious (and worse) and sets about finding the proof that will put a stop to his behaviour.

Yet she inexplicably finds herself drawn to the doctor as well, entering into an ill-advised game of cat and mouse that could result in her becoming Philippe's next victim.

From its premise alone, viewers might think that Who Killed Bambi? offers a taut variation on a popular genre that is more than capable of keeping them glued to the edge of their seats for a couple of hours.

Sadly, the film lacks any tension, is devoid of any pacing and fails to realise any of its potential.

Philippe is such an obvious villain that there is no real mystery surrounding him, while Lucas' dour portrayal offers little in the way of charisma, or plausibility as to why he might appeal to Isabelle.

Hence, their battle of wits feels pointless from the outset, especially since it never really manages to impose any sense of dread.

Likewise, there is no real feeling of vulnerability surrounding any of the characters (which is curious for a hospital-based thriller), while the low-key finale is as disappointing as it is underwhelming.

This one feels very much like it's dead on arrival!

(In French, with subtitles; 126mins)

 

 

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