A Cure for Wellness

Gore Verbinksi, the visionary behind the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, is the mind and eye behind A Cure for Wellness, a convoluted tale of madness and quackery that he wrote and directed, set in a mountaintop aqua-therapy sanitorium in the Swiss Alps. The film stars Dane Dehaan as Lockhart, an ambitious and unscrupulous New York investment officer who is dispatched by his board to retrieve one of their own (Harry Groener) from the Alpine retreat, from whence the absent member has dispatched a puzzling note saying he won’t be coming down from the mountain. Once in Switzerland, Lockhart meets the sanitorium’s medical director, a winningly oily Jason Isaacs of The OA (who does creepy better?) and his young ward Hannah (Mia Goth), a pouty and unconventional barefoot beauty who wanders the grounds aimlessly. Of course, little is as it seems, and after an auto accident (the lately ubiquitous deer vs. car crash), Lockhart finds himself confined and doesn’t like that one bit, as he is eager to get back to New York. His encounters with the oddly cheery patients and the facility’s Stepford staff lead him to believe there’s something up with “the treatment.” There is indeed, but one must sit through two hours of not entirely satisfying build-up to get to the big – baffling – reveal. Still and all, if you like beautiful scenery – Verbinski has poured breathtaking vistas into this watery movie – and a story with a couple of unanticipated shocks this film might be your cup of tea.

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