In this dynamic biographical drama, we follow a day in the life of a Russian doctor and humanitarian, the founder of the Foundation for Medical Assistance to the Poor Residents of Moscow, Elizaveta Petrovna Glinka or Dr. Lisa. And on that very day, screenwriter Alexei Ilyushkin and director Oksana Karas, Dr. Lisa (Chulpan Hamatova) and her husband, lawyer Gleb (Andrzej Chyra), decided to celebrate. They should celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Lisa plans to spend the day with her family, their grown-up sons have arrived, many friends have been invited, and Lisa made a short trip to the foundation to see what was happening. But very soon her day will turn into complete chaos because she will be stopped along the way by the father of a dying girl who was thrown out of the hospital.
The meeting will trigger a series of events and her frantic heading through the streets of Moscow in search of help and medicine for an unfortunate kid whose pain can only be alleviated by morphine, which she cannot get through legal channels. And all the time this woman of incredible energy does not stop, she almost flies to Moscow to find some solutions and help, and after she steals morphine from the hospital to help the little one, she will pull investigators around her neck. We will realize that Dr. Lisa and her work have been a thorn in the side of various services for a long time, and when she borrows morphine from the hospital, it will seem to them that they finally have her and that they have come up with the evidence needed to apprehend her. But even though the investigator is constantly following her and following him and she is aware of it, Lisa does not intend to stop.
Karas managed to make an incredibly intense film with a fast, crazy pace in order to further see what one day this humanitarian woman, whom the assholes mockingly call the queen of bums, actually looks like. But she does not pay much attention to the fact that her mission and her activities bother many, but it is clear to us that she is a woman who subordinated everything to help the disenfranchised, poor, miserable, people of unfortunate destinies forgotten by the system. At the same time, she moves around the grand balls where the elite gathers to pull them by the sleeve trying to snatch something for the people she deals with, and she arrives there immediately after distributing food and medicine to homeless people, homeless people, in a straw guarded by the army. various drunks and prostitutes.
Although “Doctor Lisa” is primarily a biographical drama and character study of a tireless woman, in part this film is also a kind of social critique and an indicator of the state of Russian society. And that marginalized part of society that almost everyone has forgotten about and that no one even bothers to deal with and help them. A really respectable cast has gathered here, so Lisa’s friend and the doctor from whose department the morphine was stolen is played by perhaps the most famous Russian actor of the middle generation, Konstantin Habenski (Night Watch, Day Watch, many other Russian blockbusters). Although Glinka was often the target of criticism during her life, and some complained that she was Putin’s obedient and that her role in the recent Russian-Ukrainian war was not the cleanest, I would not go into that because I am not really informed about it, but “Doctor Lisa” is, after all, a well-done film that largely avoids politicizing and following the standard Russian narrative. Rating 7/10.
MORE MOVIE REVIEWS: MY MORNING LAUGHTER (Moj jutarnji smeh) 2019, SRB Movie review, plot, trailer