Director Gore Verbinski’s newest film, “A Cure for Wellness,” is a suspenseful mystery that offers a thrilling visual feast.
Dane DeHaan’s character Lockhart is an ambitious businessman who, after the company he works for receives a strange letter from the CEO, goes to Switzerland to retrieve his boss from a wellness center. Unfortunately, what he believes to be a simple trip to bring back his boss turns into a whirlwind psychological battle for survival.
“A Cure for Wellness” appeals to the viewer’s visual sense before anything else. The film hooks you from the beginning through its striking landscapes and morose color palette — sickness is all around. The creators did a stunning job in making the wellness center feel like a character in itself; its labyrinthian structure screams entrapment and the greenish white that permeates every scene shows the sterility and isolation of the terrifying treatments.
“Wellness” conveys the message everyone is sick and needs cured. The doctors at the center, most notably Volmer (Jason Isaacs), believe a combination of toxic medicines and horrific procedures will cure the body of its non-existent disease. Isaacs is a perfect fit for the infuriatingly serene Volmer; his voice keeps urging Lockhart to stay calm and take the treatment even in the most absurd moments.
The experience viewers get from the unfolding mystery and getting to know the strange characters makes up for a lack in continuity. The mood of the movie goes from depressing to anxiety-filled as Lockhart fights against losing his mind.
Overall, “A Cure for Wellness” tries too hard to be mysterious. The plot is not hard to understand, but the strong visuals, strange characters and surreal situations make up for any deficits.