First Run Features
Reviewed by: Harvey Karten for Shockya. Databased on Rotten Tomatoes.
Director: Muffie Meyer
Written by: Muffie Meyer
Cast: Dr. Valentin Fuster, Dr. Herschel Sklaroff
Screened at: Critics’ link, NYC, 9/18/15
Opens: October 30, 2015 in NY
If you’re a fan of “Terminator” and “Batman” movies exclusively, you’re highly unlikely to watch “Making Rounds” for more than three minutes. Muffie Meyer directs, and the movie got financing from the McInerney Family.
The film is of particular interest from those who (like me) have received hospital care for cardiac problems as it is filmed exclusively within the Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, where I too was treated last month. The theme appears to be that a doctor should listen to the patient, an old adage but one which is ignored by 80% of the medical fraternity. Two doctors, Valentin Fuster, the physician-in-chief of the Mount Sinai Hospital, and Herschel Sklaroff deliver their somewhat less-than-Oscar performances, but they seem like the doctors you’d want to have if your life were in danger or if you’re simply scared, lying in bed in the ICU or the Cardiac Care Unit.
Says Dr. Sklaroff, “Dr. Fuster and I make round the old fashioned way. The first thing we do is go to the patient and hold his hand. With that touch you establish rapport instantly.” (Try that if you’re a high-school teacher, as I was, and you’re likely to be brought up on charges.) So, director Meyer does not tell: she shows. The two leading physicians spend considerable time leading small groups of nurses and residents around the floor, since Mount Sinai is a teaching hospital. Among the patients they (and we) see is a guy with heart failure who refuses all treatment, though he is told he will die. Sure enough, he soon lands in palliative care and now he is no more (sorry if I revealed the ending). Another patient is a woman in her early twenties—early twenties for pity’s sake!—who after two pregnancies is awaiting a heart transplant, without which she will die. As of today, she is still waiting, but perhaps some Good Samaritan watching the movie will donate her heart.
Diagnosis is important, of course. Up to twenty percent of patients are mis-diagnosed despite the plethora of technical equipment that our rich country maintains in leading hospitals. One person has sleep apnea, which was not diagnosed for months, maybe years. A correct interpretation was made, he was given a ten-cent mask, and he was cured.
The movie comes across like a product placement for Mount Sinai hospital, one which will be appreciated by only a select audience, i.e people who have had to spend time in hospitals whether as patients or family and friends. There are no f/x, no fancy camera placements, no animation. You were warned.
Unrated. 88 minutes. © Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Story – B
Acting – B
Technical – B-
Overall – B