Oleg's life as an emergency medical technician is fraught with trouble and tribulation; hostility to treatments, toxic complaining, serious threats and pointless, relentless stress. Such concerns merely involve Oleg's boss. Patients are trouble too. They include violent drunks, hypochondriacs, religious freaks who refuse treatment and more. Clueless administrators add counterproductive procedures, the menace of layoffs, humiliating assignments and the focus on profits over people. On top of this, Oleg tortures himself with serious bouts of drinking and depression. Of course, nothing in life is more important than your lover. Katya, Oleg's wife, is demanding a divorce for both real and imagined slights. It is hard to tell when Oleg is in or out of the ambulance. He faces key decisions about what or who is most important to him. Arrhythmia provides a captivating glimpse into the ups and downs of being a Russian EMT. Hand-held cameras further emphasize the erratic nature of this work, and Oleg's relationships and inner turmoil. Scene settings are mostly inside the city, yet on at least one occasion a beautiful birch forest becomes the background. The actors are capable and believable. Arrhythmia is well organized and riveting. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival.
A paramedic devoted to his patients struggles to make time for his wife who begins to believe his patients are more important to him than she is.
September 26, 2020