This is Germany's answer to medical chillers like COMA, TERMINAL,
EXTREME MEASURES, etc, and it's every bit as silly and predictable as
any of them.
2000’s ANATOMY (ANATOMIE), headlined by RUN LOLA RUN'S
Franka Potente (at the time the only "name" actor in Germany), was the
maiden effort of Columbia Pictures' German division. It was given a
high-profile DVD release in the US, and begat an ANATOMY 2 in 2003. Its
writer and director Stefan Ruzowitzky repeated those duties on the
sequel, and went on make the Academy Award winning THE COUNTERFEITERS in
2007. It's better.
The ambitious young medical student Paula is accepted
into a prestigious medical school, which houses one of the world's
greatest collections of medical cadavers. Paula first demonstrates her
medical prowess on the train ride to the school by saving the life of a
fellow student--but then nearly faints upon encountering the corpse of
that very student on an operating table during an anatomy test.
Paula's instructor tells her to forget about the
incident. Paula, however, elects to investigate her colleague's corpse,
and finds his blood has coagulated in a way that suggests it began
clotting before he was even dead. She also finds a set of initials on
the corpse's feet that lead her to an ancient society of
Anti-Hippocratic corpse-thieves that was centered right where her school
is currently located.
This centuries-old society still exists, and its
activities haven't gotten any more humane in recent years. Its members,
who double as instructors in Paula’s school, like to snatch medical
students and operate on them while they're still alive, and without the
benefit of any sort of anesthetic. Among their recent victims are a slut
who's grabbed while having sex on an operating table.
Speaking of which, Paula is herself shtupping one of
the ringleaders of the Anti-Hippocratic society. It’s no surprise that
Paula ends up the society's latest subject!
This film is extremely slick and good looking, and
Franka Potente is bright and attractive (though not particularly
sympathetic) in the lead role. Yet the script is ludicrously
implausible: wouldn’t using live medical students for depraved
experiments attract unwanted attention to the school? And why doesn't
the heroine, who discovers the school's deadly secret early on, ever
just leave? Equally stupid are the filmmakers’ too-frequent
attempts at lowbrow comedy, which simply aren’t funny or perceptive.
The bombastic and overdone music is a further irritant,
making a joke of the film's most inspired moments. Those include an
early waking-up-on-an-operating table sequence, in which the unfortunate
patient witnesses his insides being scooped out and his hands stripped
of their flesh. In this and other select scenes it's clear that
writer-director Stefan Ruzowitzky has talent, but ANATOMY overall isn't
the best showcase for it.
Deutsche Columbia Pictures Film Production
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Producers: Jakob Claussen, Andrea Wilson, Thomas Wobke
Screenplay: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Cinematography: Peter von Haller
Editing: Ueli Christen
Cast: Franka Potente, Benno Furmann, Anna Loos, Sebastian Blomberg,
Hloger Speckhahn, Traugott Buhre, Oliver Wnuk, Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey,
Andreas Gunther, Antonia Cacilia Holfelder