Review / ‘Dr Knock’ (PG) *** and a half

Share Canberra's trusted news:
Omar Sy in the title role of “Dr Knock”.

STARTING in Marseilles with a down-and-out African man fleeing two thugs demanding money, going to sea as a medical officer on a small passenger ship and five years later arriving in a rural village, this is a gentle, warm-hearted parable about a one-time petty thief seeing the light, qualifying as a medico and going about doing good.

If that sequence of stages in the life of Knock (Omar Sy) seems a tad garbled, be patient. I watched it alone so cannot validly conjecture at how others might respond to it, but I’d like to think that the mixture of serious aspects of village life, grassroots humour, moral conflicts, love and personal tragedy that writer/director Lorraine Levy offers deserves consideration. Billed as a comedy, it indeed delivers some gently amusing moments but those are not its main dramatic intention.

It’s a what-goes-around-comes-around story as Knock, after buying the Saint-Maurice practice of Dr Parpalaid, sets out to make the community aware of medical services hitherto unknown. Knock doesn’t wait for patients to come to him. He’s a snake-oil salesman who knows what he’s doing and who knows about what’s going on in the village better than the postman (Christian Hecq). As news of what he’s offering begins to fill his waiting room, it gets right up the nose of Father Lupus (Alex Lutz).

And what about Adèle (Ana Girardot), the pretty young woman from an orphan background who works in Madame La Cuq’s fields and household? She has a bit of a cough. No matter, it’s not serious. And coming from a similar economic and social background to Knock, it’s scarcely surprising that love begins to bloom.

The film’s collection of moments in the lives of its characters offers much more than these few samples. Its narrative has an affectionate feeling. Its mountain scenery is beautiful. And meeting its people – well, most of them – is rather enjoyable.

At Palace Electric

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleResearch shows birds can eavesdrop too
Next articleReview / ‘Summer 1993’ (PG) *** and a half
Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

Leave a Reply