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Who Killed Bambi?
cast: Sophie Quinton, Laurent Lucas, Catherine Jacob, and Yasmine Belmadi

director: Gilles Marchand

120 minutes (18) 2003
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Tartan DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 2/10
reviewed by Andrew Hook
SPOILER ALERT!
This movie no doubt looked good on paper. A student nurse with dizzy spells increasingly begins to suspect one of the senior doctors at the hospital of sexually molesting anaesthetised patients. However, his charismatic personality disarms her accusations as he plays power games with the staff and her emotions, culminating in a cat and mouse showdown with terrifying results.

As I said, it probably looked good on paper, but transferred to the screen in the hands of Gilles Marchand we end up with a film that is as sterile as the hospital in which it is set. Who Killed Bambi? (aka: Qui a tué le bambi) is an exceptionally un-suspenseful, predictable, motiveless, emotiveless film where the only surprises are how much worse it can get just when it seems that it has already hit rock bottom.

The success of a movie in this vein (think Coma, updated) lies in the personalities of the two main stars. Sophie Quinton (Isabelle, alias 'Bambi') isn't too bad in her role as the doe-eyed naïve nurse, but her character isn't developed much more than as a foil for Dr Philipp (Laurent Lucas). This is a pity as the bad doctor is played with as much charisma as a piece of wet cardboard - devoid of emotion in a lacklustre rather than sinisterly acted manner, and totally unsuitable for a role in which he is supposed to dominate every scene. In addition, I also thought he seemed too young for the part (or perhaps Lucas is too young for the part) as there was no gravitas in his performance either when operating on, fondling, or killing his patients.

What could have been a taut psychological thriller is let down by excruciatingly slow pacing and frustratingly obvious plot twists. Even the title, which I'm assuming is inspired from the name of the song performed by the ex-Johnny Rotten Sex Pistols ensemble led by Eddie Tudor-Pole, bears no relation to the film as - Isabelle/Bambi doesn't get killed! (Dr Philipp gives the Bambi nickname to Isabelle because of her wobbly - dizzy spell - legs, but this Disney reference seems so out of place that when it's later repeated at the end of the movie it has all the subtlety of hitting a pin with a sledgehammer).

The only point at which the movie touches on originality is a scene where Dr Philipp undermines Isabelle's perceptions by asking her to guess a dream he has and whereby he can only reply to her questions with yes or no. It transpires that she creates the dream from her imagination as he has already determined he will answer 'yes' to any question ending in a vowel and 'no' when ending in a consonant. But even this interesting device isn't exploited to its best potential, despite being used again in a dream sequence near the end. Ultimately, Who Killed Bambi? is a vapid, vacuous movie, and I imagine you can guess the answer if I ask whether you think it's worth taking the time to watch it.
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