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Alex Reynolds reviews: THE GOOD NURSE

A based in fact opus, blending medicine, madness, and murder, adapted from the book by Charles Graeber. “The Good Nurse” reveals the disturbing details of serial killer Charles Cullen, an ICU nurse who killed patients.in the New Jersey area between 1998 and 2003. He would administer lethal doses of insulin or digoxin while they were hospitalized and is perhaps responsible for up to 400 deaths. Ironically, the killings might not have ended in a conviction if one woman had not come forward and helped the police end the killing spree.

Danish director Tobias Lindholm has crafted a thriller rather than a medical drama, highlighting a corrupt system which allowed an unexpected “good nurse” to go on a murder spree in a number of hospitals. The film also addresses the corruption which enabled Cullan to carry out his deadly deeds for so long, with little focus on corporate liability.

Best Actress Oscar winner Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), portrays Amy Loughren, a single mother, an ICU nurse struggling to keep her life on track while dealing with her own health issues. She and Cullen (Eddie Redmayne (“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” The Trial of the Chicago 7”), develop a co-operative friendship at the medical centre. Amy is the “good nurse” who unknowingly discovers Cullen’s deadly deceit, and probed by conscience, alerts authorities, aiding in bringing her colleague to justice.

Director Lindholm side steps many explanations of Cullen’s murderous actions, perhaps suggesting the idea that monsters should not be “understood,” thus honoring the dangerous tight rope his film’s title character tread in bringing the madness to conclusion.

The film unveils the prejudice in America’s medical care system. Self-interest and administrative hypocrisy generating profits, and the devil-may-care attitude of hospitals towards the nursing of patients, shielded the covert operation of a killer nurse.

Is “The Good Nurse” entertaining and informative? That’s up to you dear reader. The narrative emerges as largely a battle of wills about who knows what and when, as Cullen continues his murderous rampage. In effect it’s a study of how a person with a mild personality hides a Norman Bates disposition. Can a serial killer be compassionate, caring, and be skeptically murderous?

The real-life Amy gave guidance behind the scenes, feeding the talents of the two admired thespians. Chastain is wonderfully subtle; viewers can detect her revulsion at discovering his horrific secret. Jolted, Amy must maintain a normal working relationship with Cullen, retaining flexibility, being cool, not revealing inadvertently her knowledge of his dreadful deeds.

Redmayne shows viewers a character with a troubled childhood. One of eight children, Cullen’s father passed away a short time before he was born. Because of ridicule from his sisters and their boyfriends, he developed a close relationship with his mother. Her death in a car accident

sent him into a depressed state. Joining the navy in order to discover a balance to his life, was a wrong move. He despised the Navy.

The actor’s portrayal is chilling, his character suffers pain, and also causes it.

The stirling performances of the duo magnify Krysty Wilson-Cairns screenplay to realistic levels, a revelation of the underside of American medical industries (are hospitals industries??).

A crime/medical thriller about a good nurse and a bad nurse, the film shocks and disturbs, yet cheers courageousness.

Take a pill and take a look.

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