A Cure for WellnessDir — Gore Verbinski
Some films are too similar to certain other films that even though they are not remakes or retelling and you can clearly discern from where the newer one is taking inspiration from. When this film A cure for wellness came out in 2016, the name itself caught my attention. Wellness as a disease, the aura of pessimism is all over it. However, the uncanny resemblance the film had with Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island caught my eye soon enough.
The same mystic touch is there, as if the breeze itself whispers to you in our ear of secrets, conspiracies and hidden agendas. The resemblance is not only in its atmosphere, but also how the story advances. Shutter Island moved a winder range of audience through its masterful visuals and a melancholic story. A cure for wellness walks in the same path, asks the viewers to let loose and be mesmerized by its visuals and it doesn't disappoint in that regard. However, the film does not walk in Shutter Island's shoes narratively, it proceeds to take things from reality to the realms of other possibilities.
Spoiler free synopsis
A hotshot CEO of a corporate financial giant went to a luxurious fitness care center in the alps. He writes back home from there, 'Yeah, I'm dust in the wind, gone mateys. Ain't returning.' Of course the company sends an executive, a certain Lockhart, to bring back the CEO. Lockhart is young, ambitious and a firm believer in the survival of the fittest. Whomever is weaker, according to him, is inferior. He's a cynic as well.
However, upon his arrival to the fitness care center, Lockhart finds himself in a strange place. There's rumors in the air, once someone enters the fitness center, they can never go back. The indifferent behaviours of the doctors of the center put some crack in the shell of Lockhart's self assured world. Perhaps even then he could finish his mission and go back home, but he gets injured severely by accident.
All sorts of questionable events take place in the center, there's a mass cover up going on, he suspects.
He begins to pry, eavesdrop, investigate in his own way. There's a tragedy 200 years old anent the center, Lockhart wants to connect that to the present obscurity.
I expected much from A cure for wellness seeing its trailer. But after that I haven't heard a peep from anyone that year. Everyone seemed to have forgotten all about it. But I've enjoyed it quite a lot. The consensus around the film is that it is too long. True, it's long and perhaps there were the possibilities to cut it, make it loose some weight and appear tight packed. Would it be better then? Maybe. I didn't mind this runtime. Seemed appropriate to me. Not every film has to run like its arse is on fire. It uses its slowness to built pressure on my nerves, slowly.
Moreover, the film is close to Shutter Island in terms of quality. A spiritual successor I'd say. I read somewhere the director and the writer were influenced by Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain. While I haven't read the book yet, I know of the magnanimity of the author. It's high time I pick up the book.
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