ALINA FILMS (2020)
Director: Martin Kraut
Starring: Carlos Portaluppi, Ignacio Rogers, Lorena Vega
Fantasia Festival 2020 Selection
Martin Kraut’s Argentinian thriller La Dosis (The Dose) focuses on two ICU nurses who both have a penchant for the same deed – euthanasia. Whilst experienced fifty-something Marcos (Portaluppi) dishes out death from a place of pity for his suffering patients, the new, younger nurse Gabriel (Rogers) simply does it for pleasure – the kick out of knowing that he can. Of course, this creates a tension between the two and when the hospital heads start sniffing around, the two create a begrudging alliance in order to save themselves.
La Dosis is very much Marcos’ story, we see the conflict he faces in and out of work (though he never takes a day off) and the toll that Gabriel’s actions are taking on him. Gabriel is presented as more of a baby-faced assassin, charming to those he meets but manipulative to Marcos to ensure his secret isn’t exposed. The two play off against each other just fine, Portaluppi manages to create a good sense of sympathy for his character and Rogers is decent in his role, however, he doesn’t fully the grasp the menace that a character like Gabriel really needs. That’s really the key aspect missing from La Dosis – a sense of dread and menace. Obviously, the acts that Marcos and Gabriel undertake are chilling in their own ways, but at the same time, at no point does the movie really use these to heighten the atmosphere. Moments just happen, they come and go. The majority of the tension is between the two nurses which works well for the most part but it would have been nice to have more spotlight on their actions as opposed to talking about them - though the writing throughout is solid. That also defines La Dosis as a movie, it’s solid. The premise is intriguing and the hospital location provides a nice backdrop, there’s just the feeling that the movie needed that little extra to elevate it. The third act is a slightly limp affair that doesn’t provide ultimate satisfaction and even answers but it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t complement the entire tone of La Dosis. There’s not an awful lot to dislike about the movie, however, the idea of Gabriel being a gay villain feels a bit hackneyed whilst also feeling underdeveloped at the same time.
La Dosis manages to maintain a good level of mystery throughout alongside being a perfectly decent movie, it’s just lacking in a few key areas that prevent it from being great.
August 16th 2020