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Daniel Patrick Sullivan,
Isabelle, a beautiful nursing student, is starting her internship at a prestigious hospital. She meets Dr. Philip there, feels attracted to him from the beginning and starts suffering from strange fainting; so he calls her Bambi: her legs don't support her. Patients mysteriously start to disappear from their rooms; so Bambi and Dr. Philip start a cat vs. mouse paranoid game, in order to catch the probable killer. Written by
I caught this film at the Toronto International Film Festival by accident - its yet another example of the rule that the best cinema you see is only seen when you least expect it.
This is a witty, suspenseful, and very French film. It concentrates around the relationship between a student finishing up her nursing degree in a work term at the local hospital and her relationship with a young male doctor who she gradually suspects, over the course of the film, of being a psychopath. It is primarily a drama set within the plot of a thriller. There is a low-key romance that stutters but refuses to start between Isabelle (nick named, to her dislike as `Bambi' by Dr. Philipp) and the Dr. Philipp himself, the villain. All occurring while patients and staff slowly disappear, and things go increasingly wrong at the hospital.
The lead actress (Sophie Quinton) is beautiful and plays her role excellently. Dr. Philipp is equally well played by Laurent Lucas as the cool doctor and the equally cool villain. He is suitably disconcerting and downright creepy when the situation calls for it
Marchand also successfully creates a creepy and almost romantic atmosphere in the film despite the white corridors and the bland environment of the hospital grounds in which it is shot. The film constantly shifts from the fluorescent white of the interior of the hospital to the dark sky and dimmed green of the landscape of the outdoor night shots: he uses this `non-environment' to focus more greatly upon the characters. What remained with me after viewing this film were the images of the two leads' faces. Marchand uses a lot of close-ups, and as the film progresses, he increasingly concentrates upon the protagonists, allowing their expressions and moods to drive the suspense and the drama as much as the dialogue.
Qui a tué Bambi is also a very witty film. It opens with a comic scene and is paced by well placed witty dialogue amongst the nurses and between Bambi and Dr. Philipp. Much of the pleasure in watching the film stems from it's dialogue as Marchand takes full advantage of his past experience as writer.
The film's one failing is that it does not build up to it's climax well: there is not enough sense of mounting tension. As a drama is quite successful, as a Hitchcockian thriller it is not nearly so.
This is one of those few films which one can enjoy watching simply for the pleasure of watching the craftsmanship of a skilled team of filmmakers as well as enjoying a well-told story.
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