The Good Nurse
It is still a Tuesday but I decided to check out some of the new releases on Netflix. And with that I finished watching the new English film The Good Nurse which is streaming on Netflix. This is a film that is essentially a medical thriller, a genre which is largely untapped. There haven’t been too many films that have explored this genre and I was really hopeful that The Good Nurse would leave a mark. And one of the reasons was the terrific duo of Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain who are seasoned performers. More than anything, I was really looking forward to witnessing an element of magic and madness by two prolific performers. So then is The Good Nurse worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Loosely based on a 2013 novel by the same name which was inspired by true events, The Good Nurse follows a string of patients mysteriously dying at a hospital. What lies beneath? The story here is a slow burn and moves at a meditative pace. But it is also organic and overwhelming at the same time. The screenplay standing at just about 2 hours makes for a compelling watch in a very weird manner. And I say this with the utmost respect as the drama is far too unassuming and overwhelming in a very subtle manner.
The drama opens with a lot of intensity wherein a patient is shown to be suffering a lot before dying. This sets the ball rolling perfectly for the rest of the drama. This first scene is so powerful that it has the ability to instantly sucked you into the drama without any sighters. Soon, you are introduced to the protagonist who is shown to be a very caring nurse but also suffering from a life threatening disease. She is then introduced to another male nurse who she works a heartwarming bond with.
The twist in the tale creeps up with the death of another patient although the drama stays true to its nature and continues to be unassuming and unfolding at a leisurely pace. Although this is touted as a medical thriller, it is meditative and cerebral in nature. It is the character of the male nurse that has the potential of playing mind games with you. You are continuously in a dilemma much like the protagonist and this mystery is maintained right throughout.
Even when the layers of the drama begin to peel off, you are left shocked but not upto a point where it is unbelievable. There are subtle moments of intrigue with the whole setup of nabbing the culprit which in turn results in a memorable interrogation scene which will give you the chills. The final act will leave you dazed as well and I can’t help but give you spoilers here(skip the next paragraph if you haven’t watched the film).
The scene wherein the two protagonists are face to face in the interrogation room is so brilliantly executed. At this point, both of them do share a bond seeking which one of them probes the other into revealing the details of the murders and also the reason behind them. The culprit just looks her into the eye and says, “No reason really”(paraphrased) which would potentially send shivers down your spine for sure. The culprit was possible carrying a mountain of pain inside him, perhaps due to a tortured childhood and a broken marriage which may have resulted in him killing the patients. If you notice, the only patients he went after were the ones who had families and were generally happy in life. According to the novel, he did express as urge to send them “towards death” in order to relieve them of the pain. A complex and layered emotion that is difficult to understand. The screenplay is brilliantly adapted here almost catching you off guard despite you having an inkling of the drama!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational yet cerebral and require you to pay attention to them for the finer detailing that is encrypted here. The BGM is soothing and goes perfectly with the meditative mood of the drama. The cinematography and art design are wonderful here. Director Tobias Lindholm does a splendid job in weaving an atmospheric thriller that often subverts the audience into a drama that is far too unassuming. His direction is top notch.
The performances are absolutely brilliant here. Nnamdi Asomugha as Baldwin and Noah Emmerich as Braun have their moments to shine. But the show belongs to two brilliant actors that control the proceedings, often feeding off one another. Jessica Chastain as Amy is outstanding in a character that is quietly layered and largely unaware of the proceedings. Eddie Redmayne as Charlie is so subtle and unassuming that your sympathies always lie with him to begin with. His calm demeanor is meditative and the only time you see him animated is when you get the chills. A performance that is so complex and nuanced yet haunting that it stays with you long after the film is over. And it was an absolute sight watching the two actors create magic onscreen!
The Good Nurse is a overwhelming meditative thriller, two words that I never thought I would use in a single sentence. This makes for a film that is quietly haunting and well worth your time. Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended!