Jo (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) a disgraced, black market doctor finds herself thrust further into the criminal underbelly of Ireland after providing sanctuary for a young girl (Amybeth McNulty). Faced with a choice, Jo must decide to either continue down her own path of destruction or find redemption for her past.

From a technical perspective, Black Medicine does everything right. The directing is well done, the acting is believable and poignant, and the plot is sound. Unfortunately, when all put together this film is simply…okay. The only parts where I found myself engaged were during the final ten minutes, which is unfortunate because there was a potential glimmer that just never came to fruition.

Orla Brady gives a good performance as a desperate mother willing to do what it takes to potentially save her terminally ill daughter (Beccy Henderson). It’s fairly cliche how this plays out and almost cartoonishly evil, but I felt bad for her in the end. The dichotomy between Bernadette, a mother desperate for hope, and Jo, a mother with no hope left, was a great plot point that didn’t feel utilized to its fullest extent. If this connection between the two characters could have been utilized more, I feel Black Medicine would go from “okay” to “great”.

All in all, Black Medicine is a good film that has what it needs to be great but is let down short by its lack of energy. The acting and certain plot points are what shine bright in an overall bleak story and save it from being completely boring.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Signature Entertainment presents BLACK MEDICINE on Digital Platforms today

Reviewed online (screener provided by Signature Entertainment), July 11, 2021. Rating: Cert 15. Running time: 90 min.

PRODUCTION: (UK) A Signature Entertainment release of a 23ten production. Producer: Janine Cobain. Executive Producers: Martin Brennan and Tim Palmer.

CREW: Director/Writer: Colum Eastwood. Cinematography: Angus Mitchell. Editing: Fredrik Limi. Music: James Everett.

CAST: Amybeth McNulty, Orla Brady, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Beccy Henderson, Desmond Eastwood, Keith McErlean, John Connors, Lalor Roddy, Michael Shea, John Travers, Fo Cullen, Shashi Rami, Julie Lamberton, and Luke McQuillan.

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