Friday, January 03, 2014
"The Good Doctor" just might get away with two murders
When I hear a movie title like “The Good Doctor” (2011, directed by Lance Daly), I’m reminded on an anagram on names, “Le beau arbitrageur, la belle arbitrageuse” back in the 1980s after reading a newspaper article on arbitrage during the 1980s hostile takeover craze on Wall Street. That business venture affected the hospital world in the US, too, although I guess I’m venturing astray from the subject of this little horror film. True, hospital staff is nervous. It has to follow procedure and write-up incident reports. Young doctors have egos, but they may not always know when they have crossed the line.
Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom) is a young, smart-talking resident whose British accent is rather obvious in the film, at some small hospital on the California coast. He has a spartan apartment on the beach (is that in Venice?) He’s a little clumsy socially. He starts treating a young woman (Riley Keough; the film says she is 18) for a kidney infection and becomes attached to her. So he starts messing with her medications to keep her coming back. The movie does a good job of presenting the issue of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Other staff is a little suspicious, and the fatherly Dr. Waylans (Rob Morrow) starts counseling him, getting him to introspect on whether he really wants a career on medicine. And an orderly (Gary Cervantes) notices even more, and starts to blackmail him.
Here the film takes on a Perry Mason tack – the orderly winds up murdered by cyanide. But you know who did it. You find yourself liking the good doctor enough to hope he gets away with his mistakes and moves on. The movie clumsily gives the viewer a choice of endings.
The official site is here. The tagline is “Do no harm”.
The film, from Magnolia Pictures, can be rented for $2.99 legally on YouTube. I watched it on Netflix subscription.