Rating : 3.5 / 5 stars
What’s it about?
Directed by Gore Verbinski of the Pirates of the Caribbean fame, A Cure for Wellness is a psychological thriller starring Dane DeHann, Mia Goth and Jason Isaacs among others.
A young hotshot investment banker named Lockhart is sent to a Wellness Center located in the Swiss Alps to bring his boss,a partner from his investment firm, back after receiving a letter from him stating that he is sick and has decided to not come back. After reaching the Center, he is unable to make contact with his boss and circumstances force him to stay back and seek medical help from the Center. His stay makes him begin to suspect that all is not what it seems in this Wellness Center and something sinister is going on in the shadows. As his investigations begin to reveal the horrific secrets of the Wellness Center, he must battle to save his life and keep his sanity while doing it.
Even though we have had many insane asylum stories in the past, this film feels fresh and manages to keep the viewer engaged throughout with its intriguing story and engaging screenplay. The suspense is built up very well. We get different versions of the Wellness Center’s back story throughout the film and this manages to build up an atmosphere of mystery around it. The story is set up well in the first two acts and this makes the viewer invest in the fate of the main character due to which the third act of the film, where mystery is revealed, feels very organic and satisfying. The film also does not hesitate from going into “disturbing territory” and this makes it a satisfying watch.
The cinematography is probably the best I have seen in recent times, where the beauty of the alps and the idyll of the Wellness Center are captured beautifully. Art direction is also excellent, where the interiors of the Center is brought to life very well. The background score has a haunting lilt to it and fits the film perfectly.
Not much wrong with the film, although I must say that the science of the cure is not very well explained. I was not sure if this vagueness was intentional or if there was nothing there. Also, at a runtime of almost two and a half hours, it may feel a little stretched out in places.
The performances are good throughout the film. Dane DeHaan is excellent as a man trying to make sense of what is happening to him and why. Jason Isaacs as the head of the Wellness Center is excellent and gives a retrained yet menacing performance. Mia Goth as a special patient with a secretive past is decent. Rest of the cast are good in their respective roles.
An enjoyable suspense thriller, this film is definitely a one time watch.