Tag Archives: medical

Cure For Wellness (2016)

Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Ivo Nadi, Celia Imrie, Mia Goth. USA/Germany. 2h 26m.

Gore Verbinski’s hellish story of entrapment in a world filled with mysteries and a strange folklore is full of  disturbing quirks, but not enough to really step the film into the realms of greatness but instead it just comes off as  a bit weird.  The plot follows a young executive, Lockhart (DeHaan) who, after a misdemeanor at his firm, is sent to retrieve the company’s CEO, who is currently staying in a rehabilitation centre in the Swiss Alps. During this trip there’s hints of a sinister chapter from his childhood that still influences his life, but once he enters the secluded grounds of the wellness centre a dark fairytale atmosphere begins to take over.

Written by Ira Levin who gave us such classics like Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Stepford Wives (1975) and,  The Boys from Brazil (1978), but the biggest influence on the story is Thomas Mann’s 1924 novel, The Magic Mountain  (German: Der Zauberberg) . A book which does feature in the movie, those with a keen eye  may spot it, is already considered to be one of the most influential works of twentieth-century​ and centres on  a man unravelling a complex story from the backstories of key characters that he meets in a similar spar in the Alps. The war that’s faced in the novel is a World War, whereas Lockhart’s war is initially within him.

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Safe (1995)

Director: Todd Haynes
Starring: Juilanne Moore, John Apicella, Xander Berkeley, Dean Norris .USA/UK. 1h 59m

After watching Todd Haynes’s masterful macabre paperwork drama, Dark Waters I can’t help but think back to one of his more impressive and less talked about movies, Safe; featuring all of the key elements that Haynes loves to explore, showing how we are negatively affected by “forever” chemicals. He takes a more sensitive approach in this mid nineties movie before breaking the doors down years later with the harder hitting Mark Ruffalo biopic.

I hired Safe out many years ago from Blockbusters, it was cheap, because it’s a bit too art house for some and slow and boring for the rest, but for me it really struck a chord, and later on after years of talking to people about it, that chord resonated more as there’s a surprising divide between the sexes about how real or relevant this movie is, I don’t believe it was the aim of the film but maybe a byproduct of Haynes ability to paint Julianne in a certain light while she battles invisible illness. Something that we’re all a little bit more aware of despite these damning warnings.

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