The Good Nurse – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Good Nurse – Needles of Truth, Choice and Friendship

For any story, we try to find some connection to the journey.  From an unlikely escape to an emotional touch, we are threaded with a path of genuine appeal.  When it comes to film, all generic elements fall to the wayside because … there is enjoyment.  In this review, I look at the latest Netflix Original.  Based on true events, this realistic drama pulls at heartstrings of truth.  With strong leads against a general script, The Good Nurse will have you needling the question … who can you trust?   

Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain) is trying her best in an unforgiving world.  This all changes when Charlie Cullen (Eddie Redmayne) comes into her life.  Things seem good, until they are not.  At a crossroads, she must decide what is better, friendship of life.  On the surface, this film builds from a true story motif while blending in characterization and procedural crime elements.  Through the drop-in method, the audience is first introduced to Amy.  She is a single mom working as a nurse with a very life-threatening heart problem.  Through her day-to-day,  we watch as she struggles to provide for her daughters while being strong at the hospital.  This slow burn builds connections to realistic issues, creating an honest emotional ‘hook’ that leads to an open door for friendship.  This comes when a new nightshift nurse joins her team, Charlie.  From there initial meetings, we watch their relationship build through frank conversations.  The subtlety of their interactions is very organic, creating a reflection of real people that feel empathic and wholesome.  As we head into the second act, the drama turns procedural when patients start dying at the hospital.  This sense of levity from the first helps provides an honest dread to these deaths, creating the placid ‘caution to the wind’ motif.  What seems to be accidental slowly reveals to be intentional, as visual quips build smokescreen of guile and intrigue. 

As the evidence starts to build towards a major culprit, the basic elements of criminality are lifted through the characterization of the two nurses.  Their fragility becomes the catalyst of emotional tension, leveling out the predictability within a sense of human decorum.  The trepidation of purpose becomes a manner of intent, leaving Amy and Charlie questioning their friendship.  As things seem for not, they face the irony in the plight of good.  Once the truth of the tale becomes obvious, it leads to a third act of personal reflections.  With nothing left to lose, this leads to a full circle climax and the common ‘truth outcome’ epilogue.  The Good Nurse is a procedural drama with grit of human fragility.  If you a fan of the actors, procedure dramas or like character studies, this is one for you.  It is a Netflix original but would have been fun to see at the theaters.      

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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