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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "El último paciente: Chronic" )

 

directed by Michel Franco
Mexico/France 2015

 

David (Tim Roth, PULP FICTION) is a home care nurse who seems to need his patients as much as they need him. After his latest charge Sarah (Rachel Pickup, AKA) dies from AIDS after a long period of invalidity, he can offer no comfort to her relatives but toasts her as his late wife when an engaged couple try to draw him into their celebration. He indulges his new patient John (actor/screenwriter Michael Cristofer, GIA), an architect recovering from a stroke, in his newfound pornography addiction while visiting the man's buildings posing as his brother. When he and John are caught watching pornography on his iPad, the family threatens to sue him for sexual harassment and he is forbidden from seeing John. Unable to be anything but a caregiver, David appeals to his former employer (THE ROCKFORD FILES' Joe Santos) for a job and takes over, at significantly reduced pay, the care of cancer patient Marta (MAD ABOUT YOU' Robin Bartlett). Although Marta, embarrassed and angry over her infirmity, is initially cold to David, she comes to rely on him as the chemo takes a toll on her. Accepting him in spite of (or because of) the reason he was let go from his last job, she implores him to prove how much he cares and understands her pain by helping her end her life.

Slow-moving and composed primarily of scenes captured in sustained static compositions, CHRONIC conveys the protagonist's emptiness in light of some past tragedy that has left him unable to relate to anyone but the terminally ill (the young medical student [VEEP's Sarah Sutherland] with whom he has somewhat of a friendship turns out to be the relative of one of his late patients). It also effectively conveys that indignities suffered by the ill as they give up the care of their body to a stranger, have well-intentioned relatives barging in when they are at their most vulnerable, and the awkwardness of the caregiver caught in between while expected to be supportive by the patient and babysitter by the relatives. The problem is that there is not much else to it. Roth may have looked at the role as an acting challenge being given no more about his character than the audience, but the film is more interested in conveying human misery than doing anything interesting with the character's adapting and integrating aspects of his patients' lives while they are alive and mourning them as his own when they die. The abrupt ending strikes an unintentionally comic nerve because of the way it is executed onscreen here and because the viewer may have predicted that something along those lines would be only possible end to the character's cycle of behavior.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 21 October 2015 (France)

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DVD Review: Curzon Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Curzon Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:29:27 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 9.21 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English LPCM 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Curzon Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:26)

DVD Release Date: April 11th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Curzon affords this Red Epic-lensed film a high bitrate (although some of that is eaten up by the optional LPCM 2.0 stereo track). The mostly brightly lit and static shots hold up well in standard definition (the darkest areas of one or two shots do have some video noise), but optional English subtitles would have been nice for the dialogue which is also recorded at levels dependent on characters' position in the depth of the frame. The LPCM 2.0 stereo track is actually the better choice for much of the running time, with some effects sounding overemphatic and others hollow on the the 5.1 track. The sole extra is a trailer for the film.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Curzon Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

 




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