Friday, 3 March 2017

'A Cure For Wellness' Review

A large financial firm needs a signature from its CEO who has seemingly lost his mind after going to Switzerland. The company send Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) to bring him back in time for the deal to completed. When he arrives in Switzerland, he finds a strange institute where people are looking for the 'cure'. During his time there, Lockhart starts to realise that this wellness centre may not be what they say they are.

Gore Verbinski's latest film sees the director take a much different approach to a film, spending most of his career making family films like the 'Pirates of the Carribean' franchise, 'Rango' and 'The Lone Ranger'. 'A Cure For Wellness' most definitely is not an addition to a fairly family friendly filmography.

Here in the UK, there aren't many films released each year that gain an '18' rating. It takes a whole lot of nudity or gruesome acts to enable a film to receive the highest rating certificate in the UK. 'A Cure For Wellness' has both, utilising the two as a shock factor and to provide some uncomfortable and disturbing imagery. For those looking for a thriller that will give you an unsettling feeling, then you can expect this film to do so. To some, it will be off putting which is expected from the content and there are moments that do seem to be used just to unsettle the audience - see the dental scene as an example. There are a couple of times in the film where something obscene will happen and then the film jumps into something unrelated which will make you feel a little lost for a second. However, for the most part, these moments are handled well and are adequate in providing some shocks for this thriller. If there is something to praise this film for, it is the fact that it went all out, not holding back to please the majority of audiences. The film doesn't play it safe or take any easy routes which is something that this original idea deserves credit for.

The plot for this film certainly is an intriguing one and has shown to be successful, with likes of 'Shutter Island' doing something similar very well. The problem is, though, this leads the film to fall on tropes, making it very predictable throughout most of the film. The story doesn't have many shocks within it as everything that happens is fairly conventional and expected. As previously mentioned, it seems that the imagery was used as the shock factor but the film could've blended the shocks into the film's story better. What doesn't help the film is that it is filled with a lot of foreshadowing which takes away a lot of the surprises in the film. From the first few clues, you can see exactly how the film will play out. There is no problem with a film foreshadowing future events but when it is this obvious, it seriously harms the film. With a film that is almost 2 and a half hours long, there needs to be more content that feels fresh or unexpected.

However, it would be harsh to say that the film is ever boring or uninteresting. The film somehow manages to keep your attention due to the good plot, despite it being fairly predictable. The story although similar to others is still a good watch, in many ways due to its weirdness. This film very much is different to everything else that has come out in recent years and is a film that people who want to see original ideas should be checking out. Other than that, gorgeous visuals and set designs to make this a very beautiful film to watch. Verbinski frames every shot to perfection, using a wide range of shots to fit as much detail into the setting of every scene. Nothing is wasted as Verbinski utilises lighting to the sets, creating creepy atmospheres. 'A Cure For Wellness' is one of the most beautiful looking films that you will see this year as it is flawless with its technical aspects. The film is also helped by some good performances, especially from Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth and Jason Isaacs, the three main roles within the film.

The finale of the film is also quite questionable as the film reaches its climax of absurdity. The general reaction to this film's ending is that it went too ridiculous, even compared to some of the events previously in the film. As someone who was onboard for the full film, it did feel like it overstepped the line with the craziness. This was disappointing and I can see why others will hate it due to the long build up. The payoff isn't nearly as good as the rest of the film which does leave it finishing quite poorly.

The best way to describe this film is by saying it's like a darker, more stylised 'Shutter Island' but with a poorer executed story. This film most definitely won't be for everyone but there are most definitely things to marvel at in this film. In no way is this a great film but it most definitely isn't a bad one. If you want to see a different, weird, original movie compared to everything else showing right now, then give this film a watch. If you are easily put off or squeamish, then stay away from this one.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'A Cure For Wellness'? If so, what did you think of the film? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie or not. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor

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