Sunday, June 13, 2010

Private Healthcare

Britannia Hospital (1982) - Anderson
The esteemed Britannia Hospital is in frantic mode because they are expecting a visitation from HRH(Her Royal Highness). But the Unionized kitchen staff are on strike, refusing to serve rich patients their caviar and lamb shanks. And there are demonstrators outside shouting 'down with the privilege' and protesting some cannibal African dictator who resides in the hospital.

This third in Mick Travis Trilogy(If.... O Lucky Man!) is a biting satire where no one is safe from Anderson's criticism- private-run health care, deal-making Union bosses, silly upper-class, irrelevant nationalism... Even though it's from different era, Britannia Hospital is just as relevant as it was then. It's funny as hell and much more coherent than messy O Lucky Man. Malcolm McDowell has a minor role as an investigative reporter who unwittingly becomes a subject of a medical experiment of manic, messianic Dr. Miller. Anderson's absurd and prophetic open ending is a right fit to conclude the trilogy. Oh, Mark Hamill makes an appearance as dope smoking news crew who gets overrun by the angry English protesters.