When watching movies, we tend to find comfort, solace, and even a connection with some part of the story or characters. For me and my horror movies, I was always intrigued by the FX. I stared at the VHS back cover art trying to piece the movie together since I wasn’t yet allowed to actually watch it yet.
Today, the movie we’re going to talk about is the Argentina film, The Dose (aka La Dosis) written and directed by Martin Kraut (Que Miren 2012 – read our interview with the director here). In the plot of the film, Marcos (Carlos Portaluppi: Easy Ball 2015) is an experienced nurse who works in the night shift at a provincial private clinic. He is applied and professional, but he has a secret.
The Dose is described as a slow burn, a term that can almost certainly give a movie the kiss of death these days. I have to say that description helps for this movie. The film feels a soap opera novella as we get wrapped up in the drama of the characters, especially Marcos, a complex man who plays judge, jury, and executioner here. The Dose doesn’t rely on the thrills and scares to keep you interested. It focuses on the drama and weight one has on their shoulders, especially when caring for multiple patients in an ICU unit. I have to say that Portaluppi brings a kindness to his role. He’s a quiet man, the backbone of the clinic, which is great, because nurses do so much and don’t get enough credit for it.
The film eventually picks up as the tension builds. The hospital begins an audit on the deaths of the patients in the ICU, and Marcos has to deal with the actions of his co-worker—who’s in the business of death—although he gets pleasure out of his job while Marcos performs his duties out of sympathy. It does create a tense rapport that moves the film along, keeping the audience interested. There is a romance that develops, but honestly, it’s really not needed to tell this story.
Overall, The Dose would be perfect as a TV series or even a short film, but fans of character development will enjoy its slow burn qualities. Others who are more into cat and mouse medical thrillers may not appreciate this film’s charm. The ending makes sense, but I do wish there was a little more. It felt like a bit of a let down.