13 December 2002 | the-hooded-chas
Inner city medicine on the frontline - med students look away now
A shocking film - though maybe less to non-US audiences - which tells it like it is. Ever wondered what it was like to be a patient, or a doctor, in an overworked, under-staffed, under-funded, under-pressure inner-city public hospital? Well, now you can find out. And it sure ain't ER. Everything about this made-for-TV film screams "authentic" - which probably explains why it has largely disappeared from TV screens and doesn't get the 8+ ratings from the IMDB audience. But it deserves much, much better. The brilliant Joe Mategna plays a zombied-out doctor whose obnoxious couldn't-give-a-shit-manner conceals a man who has reached the end of his tether but is still trying to do the right thing - even in the face of no resources, conniving ass-covering bureaucrats and general public indifference. The ending, and Mantegna's final speech, doesn't quite cut it... but why accentuate the negatives? The setting, ambience and the characters - especially Mantegna - are spot on, and will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has spent much time around a public hospital or the doctors that work there. Compulsory viewing for all medical students who want to know what it's REALLY going to be like. Of course, once they've seen it they may prefer to quit medical school and become lawyers...