Preserved Forever As Anatomical Specimens At the University
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 06/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Anatomy" is an outstanding medical thriller that combines "Coma" with "House of Wax." A brilliant young med student Paula Henning (Franka Potente of "Run Lola Run" and "Creep") is accepted into the University of Heidelberg in Germany. On a train, she helps save the life of David, a terminally ill young man. At the university, Paula is on the verge of dissecting a corpse when she discovers to her horror that it belongs to David. Soon afterwards, her classmates begin disappearing. Her investigation leads her to the ancient Anti-Hippocrates Society and a vast conspiracy involving the medical world. She uncovers the terrifying secret behind the grotesque specimens that are displayed in the university's Anatomy Hall like circus sideshow freaks.
I watched the highly suspenseful "Anatomy" in it original German audio with English subtitles. (The English dubbing was horrible.) Potente gives an excellent, believable portrayal as the heroine who bravely searches for her missing friends. Her performance reminded me of Genevieve Bujold in "Coma." Paula is relentlessly chased through the university's labyrinth of classrooms by those who wish to silence her. There are several plot twists that are nice. It is difficult for her to know who to trust in a conspiracy that involves faculty as well as students. Paula even learns some diabolical secrets concerning her own connection with the Anti-Hippocrates Society.
This great DVD package has plenty of nice extras including a music video for the song "My Truth." It is sung by Anna Loos who also appears in the film as Gretchen, Paula`s oversexed roommate. The video is extremely sensual and erotic. It contains an attractive group of performers who dance and flex their brawny bodies.
If you enjoy medical thrillers, then you must see "Anatomy." Another excellent one to watch is "Hollow Man," starring Elizabeth Shue and Kevin Bacon as biomedical scientists who learn, too late, that humans who are made invisible become insane and deadly. If you are a fan of slasher flicks with a hospital setting, then you will like "Anatomy" along with "Visiting Hours," "Halloween II" and "Slaughter Hotel."
Predictable, but monstrously entertaining.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anatomy (Stefan Ruzowitzky, 2000)
Seeing Stefan Ruzowitzky's medical thriller Anatomy so quickly after seeing Nacho Cerda's twisted Aftermath made for an interesting contrast. Anatomy is obviously a much more mainstream, commercial film, but many of the underlying conceits are the same; the two make a great pair.
In Anatomy, two women-- Paula (Lola Rennt's Franka Potente) and Gretchen (Anna Loos, who also sings the soundtracks' exceptionally sexy "My Truth"), are accepted into an exclusive medical school in Heidelberg. While on the train there, they meet David (The Counterfeiters' Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey), a young man with a terminal heart defect who's on his way to see yet another specialist. On their second day of classes, David turns up on Paula's dissection table, and there are some very odd things about his body. Paula, with the help of her would-be boyfriend Caspar (Sebastian Blomberg of the upcoming The Baader-Meinhof Complex) and Gretchen, starts digging into David's mysterious death, and discovers that all at the school is not nearly what it seems.
First off, a warning: watch this with subtitles. The dubbed version is absolutely execrable, and plays more like a bad comedy than the tight, intriguing thriller that it actually is. Ruzowitzky, who also wrote the script, could have probably used another pair of eyes-- some of the plot twists are predictable, if still fun-- but there's a good vein of black humor running underneath the outrageous plot, and he's got a very good grasp of how to use light and shadow to create suspense, something that's almost lost in Hollywood these days outside the influence of a select few directors. The movie is quite nicely paced, after the opening scenes (which get bogged down in setup), and the acting is all at least competent, with some of it really engaging (Loos' character, once we get to know her, is especially fantastic). While the characters in the movie flirt with stereotype-- Grethcne the bimbo, Paula the bookish nerd, Phil the geek, Caspar the clown, etc.-- there's always just enough going on in their personalities that they never slide into cardboard. It's a pretty impressive little flick, and you probably missed it the first time around. If medical-style thrillers are your bag, this should be right up your alley. *** ½