Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mini-Review: A Cure for Wellness (2017)

I'm hoping to get more reviews out by doing this mini-review format. If I want to go into actual depth on this movie I'll do so via multi-vlog reviews or other posts.

In this review of A Cure for Wellness there will be spoilers. So if you haven't seen the movie stop reading now and go see it before continuing.
Finally an Original

For the past few years there have been many sequels, remakes, and reboots. I am not saying that any of those three things are bad but there are too many of them. It's like how I used to love eating Kit-Kats but then I ate so many I now don't care for them. They're still great but not as good to me as they once were.

The same thing applies to sequels, remakes, and reboots. So I partially love this film because it aims for something new.
Even though I enjoyed my time with this film, I see it only appealing to a niche crowd. If you don't like odd films like Being John Malkovich (1999) you probably won't enjoy A Cure for Wellness. Like the older film, this one has a sense of oddity that may make it hard to follow for some.

The basic plot is easy enough to follow but if you are too distracted by the strange imagery...well...you won't hope to get at the meat of the film.
For those that do appreciate a good mindf***, you'll enjoy this film. There is a solid plot, great imagery, and decent acting to make this an enjoyable time.
The Themes

If you can look past the oddness of the movie, there are some pretty provocative themes. The first main one is a commentary on getting to the top. Specifically getting to the top of the corporate ladder. Lockhart starts off the movie being caught for doing something illegal, hence the board uses blackmail as a way to convince him to go to the wellness center.

There is also what happened to Lockhart's father. Basically he was trying to get to the top and ended up taking the blame when things went wrong.
Finally for this theme, Lockhart holds a viewpoint that it's a dog eat dog world. That nothing matters but reaching the pinnacle of corporate success.

Suffice it to say the movie says that climbing the corporate ladder shouldn't be the sole focus of a man's life. Especially if it leads to them being less human.
A more prominent theme in the movie is how people will do anything to feel well in the short term. This is true even if the 'cure' doesn't work in the long term. It's all about feeling good in the moment. People will do this even if it ends up killing them.

While we might not think we are as stupid to drink water and end up being used to fuel an immortal, incestuous baron we do something similar.

Anyways...all of us do things that make us feel good in the now. When our current 'cure' doesn't work we go to the next thing. The cycle then repeats until we die. This theme is something that truly deserves a post of its own so I'll end the discussion for now.
So what is the titular cure of the title?

While what keeps the Baron and a few others immortal is shown on one of the posters, the cure is something else. The Baron at one points says the cure is disease.

Breaking down the title we have two positive words: 'cure' and 'wellness'.

With so positive of a title we would instinctively think that it's referring to something good. However, 'cure for' indicates that the cure has to make wellness go away. So the opposite of wellness is disease.

So the title could be read as: The Cure for Wellness is Disease

This most likely ties into people killing themselves because they only look for short term solutions.
Lockhart's Journey

Lockhart began his journey as a dick. There's really no nice way to talk about a guy who has such a vicious view of the world. He wants to rise to the top and is perfectly okay doing whatever it takes. He is all consumed by his work.

So, if you think about it, dick is a very polite term to refer to him as.
As Lockhart starts to drink the water from the wellness center, he hallucinates. This seems to indicate that the water turns the users insane. Not only the people who drink the water that hasn't been purified but also those who drink the purified water. We don't see the Baron going insane but he's unstable.

Of course that could be because the Baron was insane to begin with.

Why do I bring this up?

It's very hard to figure out Lockhart's arc if he has turned insane.
Personally I think that Lockhart only saved Hannah at the end because she was the only thing he had left to hold onto. He had devolved so far into madness that he knew he wasn't going to be himself for much longer.

So to make himself feel important he rescues Hannah which might end up being his last conscious decision.
Rating: 3.5/5

Additional Notes:
*Original does not always mean better
*If you want to support original movies you should see this one
*Wasn't as hard to follow as some people say
*We are all in our own Wellness Center
*If Lockhart had returned to his job then he would've suffered the same fate as his father
*The 'cure' seems to turn people insane
*This film isn't about aliens

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