From its first scene, “La Dossis” makes it clear that its silent protagonist, a nurse named Marcos (Carlos Portaluppi), privileges his own morals over professional decorum. Despite protests from doctors, he violates protocol to bring a flat patient back to life. The film soon overturns this decision, making its story vaguely opaque.
After rescuing that patient, Marcos decides to euthanize her because she disagrees with the doctors’ treatment plan, leaving her vulnerable to death from the infection. This isn’t the first time – nor the last time – Marcos tries to bring a patient out of their misery. When a mysterious new nurse, Gabriel (Ignacio Rogers), arrives, it appears he may uncover Marcos’ misdeeds. Instead, his behavior forgives them on the contrary. Gabriel is almost sarcastically psychic: he gleefully kills patients and tries to sexually assault the only female nurse in his ward. Although Marcos can be accused of playing the role of a god, next to Gabriel he looks like an angel.
While the actions of these characters could have made for tense drama, “La Dossis” has a lot on its mind. The film quickly finds itself buried in a mountain of half-hearted complications. Marcos has to look for new housing because his partner has recently left him, but we learn nothing about that relationship. Although Gabriel tries to seduce Marcos—including taking him to a gay bar—it’s unclear whether Marcos even dates men. “La Dossis” raises many such issues and plays none of them, which makes the watch a frustratingly ambiguous one.
“La Dossis” harms itself by denying clarity. What should be a razor’s edge rivalry plays out more like a hamstrung thriller.