Anatomy: Special Edition
Anatomy, or Anatomie in Germany, was released late in 2000 in Germany, and is now on DVD, courtesy of Columbia Tristar, in a Special Edition. Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, the film stars Franka Potente (Paula), of Run Lola Run fame.
When Paula scores the 2nd highest in Germany on a medical test, she's invited to go to Heidelberg for a summer anatomy course and study under Professor Grombek, one of the best in the country. Her grandfather had been at dean at Heidelberg, and she's encouraged to go. So she leaves behind Munich and departs by train for Heidelberg. On the train, a passenger suddenly passes out and Paula saves his life by massaging his heart. After successfully saving him, she learns his name is David, and that he suffers from cardiomyopathy, a rare heart problem. They split ways, and Paula arrives at Heidelberg for her studies. However, when David winds up on the dissecting table as a cadaver with the letters AAA cut into his leg, Paula becomes suspicious and starts investigating his death. Even after being threatened, she continues searching for the truth, but will her curiosity land her on the table next?
Having thoroughly enjoyed Run Lola Run, I was looking forward to another performance by Franka Potente. Upon learning she was in Anatomy, I requested it for review, and she didn't disappoint. I found her performance to be quite good; she really pulls off the part. The film itself is less of a suspense film than I expected, but it still had a few twists and turns that managed to surprise. And nothing beats the dissection of a live person for sheer "cover your eyes" terror – the squeamish might want to stay away from this one.
Anatomy is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Save for some occasional film grain, the transfer is fantastic. Colors are vibrant and flesh tones are accurate. Blacks are rich and detailed, and contrast is likewise excellent. The grain, present in only a few of the darker scenes is the only flaw of the transfer.
Anatomy is presented in the original Dolby Digital 5.1 German track, which is also available dubbed in English. The film is also in Dolby Surround 2.0 in English, French, and German. Surround use is quite effective in a few scenes, but the film is mainly dialogue driven. Dialogue is crisp and clean. I must recommend against the English dub, however, as it is pretty horrid. Sticking with the 5.1 German track and English subtitles is the way to go. Subtitles are also available in French.
Anatomy is billed as a special edition and contains some neat extras. First up is the audio commentary with director Stefan Ruzowitzky. Recorded in German, and accessible to English speakers via subtitles, the director's comments are often interesting and frequently entertaining. Definitely give it a try if you're a fan of the film. Next are two featurettes: the first is a "Behind the Scenes" piece which runs about five minutes and the second is on the film's makeup which runs about three minutes. Neither is too long, but both contain a few interesting pieces of information. Two deleted scenes are also included, both of which are extensions on previous scenes. One of which adds a bit more suspense to the film, and it probably would've been ok left in. Also included is a storyboard comparison feature, talent files for Ruzowitzky and Potente, a music video, a slideshow of production photos, and trailers for this film, Circus, and Run Lola Run.
Anatomy is a decent suspense flick that fans of the genre or Franka Potente will want to check out. Columbia Tristar has provided the film with a great transfer, decent sound, and some terrific extras. Recommended!