Indie Flicks: Do No Harm - A Mother's Love
In just 10 short minutes, Rosanne Liang's Do No Harm takes us on an action-packed, emotional rollercoaster. The film opens with a shot of the surgeon, covered in blood, frantically washing her hands. Someone yells. She turns around and there is a look of terror on her face. The viewer instantly knows that whatever is happening is not good. The title screen appears and what follows seems to be a pretty calm "operating room." It is apparent from the first moments in the room that this is not a traditional hospital if a hospital at all. Things seem fishy from the start.
We hear a heart monitor beeping away in the background as the camera pans over an unconscious man on an operating table. A surgeon and her team are shown working on the patient as someone asks the surgeon if she knows the man that they are operating on. She responds that he is a friend of hers and her colleague laughs and sarcastically comments that he is an interesting friend. We have no idea why he would say something like that but we soon find out. Some type of commotion is heard going on outside and a group of suspicious looking men barges through the door.
The man in charge asks the doctors to leave the room. He tells them to go and get a cup of tea while they visit with their friend. The doctors frantically try to shoo the men out of the room with no luck. One doctor is knocked unconscious while the other two are shot and killed. Only the surgeon is left. The man walks to her, holds the gun to her head and the surgeon is obviously terrified. But the surgeon is not who the man wants, as he stated earlier. He pushes the surgeon aside and points the gun directly at the man on the table. Something takes over the surgeon and she attacks the man and his crew.
Killing one and injuring another, the surgeon states over and over again that the man on the table is her patient. The leader of the group is annoyed and asks the doctor if she wants to know what wrong her patient has done to warrant this response from these men. We find out the patient is a pedophile. Following this news, the man asks the surgeon to move out of the way and let him finish the rest of his job. The surgeon repeats that this man is her patient and that angers the man in charge. He tells his guys to shoot her. The surgeon jumps on top of her patient, protecting him and herself with the metal operating table. Talk about girl power.
If you watch any of the hundreds of medical dramas that are on TV, you know that a doctor's oath is that they must always work on the patient and try to help them survive, no matter how awful a person that patient may be. We see that this surgeon is dead set on not breaking the oath and you can't help but note what a dedicated doctor she is. The surgeon jumps out from behind the table and attacks and fights with the men. Killing all of them, it is only her and the leader of the group left in the room. The surgeon gets ahold of a gun and is holding it up to the man. The man says to her "come on now, you're a doctor." In an extremely powerful moment, the surgeon responds "you are not my patient," and shoots and kills the man.
At the same moment, the doctor that was knocked unconscious begins to wake up. The surgeon runs over to him, makes sure he is well and runs out of the room. We learn now that the opening scene takes place after the fiasco in the operating room. We are shown the surgeon, covered in blood, frantically washing her hands again. We see the surgeon and doctor operating through a small window. We then see the surgeon sitting on the floor, looking defeated. At this moment, it is easy to think that the man she was operating on survived. The patient begins to open his eyes. We learn that he has survived the operation.
The last two minutes of the film is so jam-packed with new information that it is almost difficult to follow when viewing for the first time. It is revealed when the patient wakes up that he and the surgeon had made some type of deal. He looks to her and she says "I did what you ask, now you keep your promise." We are shown a young girl's feet. The camera moves out and we see a fear-stricken little girl being held back by two large men. The surgeon enters the room and the little girl tries to run to her but one of the men held her back. The surgeon begins crying and walking toward the little girl. The patient is being wheeled out behind the surgeon. Before the men release the little girl, they ask the patient a question and the patient makes a gesture with his hand as if to say go ahead.
The surgeon takes the girl into her arms and begins to sob. She starts to walk in the opposite direction of the men and the patient. The men and the patient have some sort of discussion. You can tell things are not good. The men turn around and begin following the surgeon and her daughter. The surgeon can hear them coming and a panic-stricken look takes over her face. She begins to walk faster and clutch her daughter even closer to her body than before. She runs to the end of the hall where there is a door leading into another room. She places the child in the room tells her to close her eyes and everything will be okay. She locks the girl in the room and turns around to face the men. She runs toward the men and you can hear them fighting. The camera gets closer and closer to the little girl's face through a window as she watches the fight happen. A gunshot is heard and the little girl gasps and closes her eyes. The credits begin to roll.
I assume that the little girl in this film was the surgeon's daughter. We do not know why the little girl is with those men or how she got there. As sad as it may be, it seems as if the little girl was a victim of the patient's. Perhaps earlier in the film, when the man who barged in the operating room told the surgeon that the patient was a pedophile, she already knew. She was not protecting the patient because of her doctor's oath, she was protecting the patient so he would give her back her daughter. Her intense love for her child was what was helping her to protect that vile man is what I assume. We are given no definite answers. Many different scenarios for why the events of the film took place the way that they did. Perhaps your interpretation will be different than mine, but for me "Do No Harm" was a film about the extreme extents that a mother would go to to protect her child.