The Good Nurse (Biography, Crime, Drama) [Based on Book] [Based on a True Story] (2022)
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Writer: Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Charles Graeber (Based on Book by)
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Kim Dickens, Nnamdi Asomugha
When patients in Parkfield Memorial Hospital decease from unusual symptoms, an investigation commences, and the hospital’s newest nurse is the suspect.
Previously having written for ‘’The Hunt’’ and ‘’Another Round’’ among other films, Tobias Lindholm partners with Krysty Wilson-Cairns herself behind writing films such as ‘’1917’’, and ‘’Last Night in Soho’’ it seems ‘’The Good Nurse’’ is in excellent hands. The real story about Charles Cullen, a serial killer overdosing patients with medication they didn’t require. It’s an adaptation of Charles Graeber’s book of the same name and was filmed in Stamford, Connecticut. Produced by FilmNation Entertainment and Protozoa Pictures, later distributed by Netflix.
Working the night shift at Parkfield Memorial Hospital, Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain) is diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, prone to light-headedness and shortness of breath. In her situation, she’s unable to cease her duties as a nurse; otherwise, being without health insurance and is only allowed paid leave after four months. Partially relieving her schedule, the hospital hires Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne) they quickly become friends. But, when patients pass away due to inexplicable means, an investigation begins to uncover what has happened ever since Cullen was hired.
The adapted screenplay of Graeber’s book, ‘’The Good Nurse’’ attempts to unveil a disconcerting true story of when those meant to heal you; harm you instead—also, shining a light on corporate greed by American hospitals, all too keen on saving face rather than lives.
Set within a fictionalised Somerset Medical Center, where Charles Cullen’s last incidents took place ‘’The Good Nurse’’ reiterates the events that led to his arrest. Several facts were changed for narrative reasons and to respect those impacted by the events in 2003 and before.
With Parkfield Memorial Hospital as the chief location, it’s a familiar setting, yet the muffled, dim night shift Chastain’s Amy and Redmayne’s Charlie usually find themselves in creates a different atmosphere, far from as dynamic as the usual hustle and bustle within hospital walls. Despite well-knowing the conclusion of this disquieting history, Lindholm and Wilson-Cairns manage to effectively disarm the viewer as both actors mesh incredibly well before inklings of suspicion arise.
Much is a hybrid in genre, as before the investigation starts, we’re fully engaged in character drama. Yet, once motives become more apparent, it becomes much more of a detective flick the likes of ‘’Se7en’’ or ‘’The Bone Collector’’. Hiding behind healthcare throughout Cullen’s devious methods, what could’ve been a much slower picture ramps up as casualties mount. To see Amy become suspicious and even frightened of her former-friend is brought effectively due to Chastain’s performance, which we haven’t quite been able to see in her latest roles in ‘’The 355’’ and ‘’Ava’’.
Providing such an excellent sense of excitement during the film’s progression further adorns both catalogues of Lindholm and Wilson-Cairns, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing what each does next.
A good nurse and an even greater film.