Film Review – Black Medicine (2021)

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Scalpel please. Thrills, spills and medical kills throughout this complex, riveting, unpredictable thriller barely allowing one to breath due to simmering suspense and an understated, powerhouse performance by lead Antonia Campbell-Hughes.

Opening on a brisk, icy night, we join a woman on the verge of jumping from a great height to impending doom,
suddenly interrupted, she thankfully aborts this potentially fatal moment.

Former registered surgeon, Jo (Campbell-Hughes) now plying her pharmaceutical skills for unofficial operations consisting of mostly injured gangsters or rich underbelly requests.

The passing of her daughter has left Jo in despair, separating from husband Richard (Keith McErlean) who now lives on a boat away from the daily introverted anguish of his ex-wife.

Introduced to the incredibly snake-like Bernadette (Orla Brady) an affluent woman who needs help with an under the radar organ transplant for her ailing daughter. Reluctantly agreeing, Jo hesitates further when terms change and then some astonishingly brutal truth is revealed, which I’m not going to spoil here.

Director Colum Eastwood, engages impactful suspense, tension continues to build through unbelievable situations constantly unfolding to further mind-blowing outcomes. An excellent offbeat score by James Everett, supports the grim latitude throughout.

Irish rising star, Amybeth McNulty, enthrals as a twitchy, homeless, victim.

So good recently in Cordelia (2019) absolute honours go to Antonia Campbell-Hughes, taking on multi emotional depths as conflicted Jo, dealing with acute corruption and sincerity. Must see thriller.


Thriller | Ireland, 2021 | 15 | Digital HD | 12th July 2021 (UK) | Signature Entertainment | Dir. Colum Eastwood | Orla Brady, Amybeth McNulty, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Keith McErlean

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