The corporate conspiracy and common people’s battle against it is something Hollywood likes to portray over and over again, dipping it in various flavours, but usually with an optimistic touch at the end. If you are a fan of such a genre, if you like a ‘take no prisoner’ attitude on the part of the directors, Puncture would be a treat to watch.
Personally I liked the film, neither because of Chris Evans who had outdone himself, nor because of the onslaught on U.S. political-economic lobby that caters on human lives to enrich themselves. Rather I liked the film as a member of the medical community and if I really take this opportunity to acknowledge a note of thanks to the script-writer lawyer Paul Danziger (writing the script based on his own life-events) from all the medical community, especially in the third world where the safety syringe is yet to be made of use: then I don’t think it would be too much.
The story is about a small law firm started by two small time rookie lawyers trying to curve their niche in the competitive market of litigation industry. Two unlikely partners and friends Mike and Paul live and dream almost at the two extreme poles of the societal life. While Mike is a junkie, a cheat, a profligate and inadvertently a genius; Paul is a regular guy with his wife expecting their first child. They somehow hesitantly take on a case of a small time needle-maker industrialist who cannot sell his product to the hospitals because of the monopoly certain big company named Thompson Needles has created. However, the reason for being involved in such a venture is rather humanitarian than monetary. Both the engineer of the new product and the lawyer friends are going to court as the newly devised syringes will completely obliterate puncture wounds that the health-care professionals frequently suffer from leading to many a blood-borne diseases among them, thus public health-care system a heavy loss every year, not to mention the loss of lives.
The film takes us through the heart of power structure of America: how an initially interested Senator was ‘bought off’ by the big pharmas, how the legal system blatantly takes side to conspire against the people’s interest, how the out-of-court negotiations are arranged with a offer of a handful of cash against people’s life. Thompson Needles showed interest to bought off the patent of the new syringes without any intention of bringing them to market and when the things seemed that it could not be go any more downhill, the “brightest light comes from the darkest of places”.
Puncture is full of formula-fed melodrama and predictable sequences and yet it is appealing as hell. I think everyone involved in the health-care sector should give it a watch, at least for the sake of information like how the reuse of syringes helped AIDS epidemic spread of Africa and India (which may be exaggerated but not entirely false). And for the general movie-goers, well, this would not be a waste of time.