THE GOOD NURSE (NETFLIX) (2022)
SYNOPSIS: Suspicious that her colleague (Academy Award® Winner Eddie Redmayne) is responsible for a series of mysterious patient deaths, a nurse (Academy Award® Winner Jessica Chastain) risks her own life to uncover the truth in this gripping thriller based on true events.
Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain are phenomenal in The Good Nurse, a sombre quiet drama based on the real-life serial killer, Charles Cullen. While the story is presented in an understated manner, it’s the two main leads that stood out the entire duration.
Chastain plays Amy, a single parent and a nurse with a life-threatening heart condition. She works the demanding ICU night shifts until a newly-joined nurse, Charles (Redmayne) is assigned to her unit and they developed a friendship gradually.
But when a series of mysterious deaths start to occur in the ICU and two detectives Baldwin (Nnamdi Asomugha) and Braun (Noah Emmerich) are assigned to the case, Amy begins to suspect Charles might be the one behind the crime. Determined to find out the truth, Amy and the detectives have to race against time to stop Charles before he carries out more killings.
For a start, The Good Nurse focuses the story solely on Amy’s perspective instead of the serial killer. You can even say the plot is actually from the point of the good nurse or the good friend. Amy struggles to put her best friend to jail because he has been a devoted, helpful buddy inside and outside of work. Their relationship is purely platonic but Charles has committed a series of extremely wicked deeds which results in Amy’s “betrayal”.
Some audiences might find that the movie does nothing to showcase the motives behind Charles or any significant backstories that reveal the man behind his usual thoughtful, friendly façade. Rather it’s the opposite that what makes the drama so intriguing.
While generally lacking any nail-biting tension and riveting proceedings, the movie strikes a good balance between an investigative drama and compelling representation of the notorious crime. Fans of Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm (The Hunt, Another Round) shouldn’t be disappointed as he continues to make movies that gears towards humanity in his first English-language debut.
As mentioned prior, Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain puts in stellar nuanced performances with Redmayne having none of his British accent and basically disappearing into the role of the American serial killer. In the role of Amy, Chastain probably have a chance again comes award season.
With movies about serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy on the rise in recent times, The Good Nurse turned out to be an impressive, strong competitor despite late into the game.
Review by Linus Tee