The Good Nurse is a new movie released on Netflix that focuses on Amy (played by Jessica Chastain), a nurse and a single mother suffering from a life-threatening heart condition – cardiomyopathy. She’s busy working night shifts in the ICU, even though her doctor warns her of a stroke. Regardless, she pushes herself to go to work and live her life as normal.
She’s struggling at work with news about her heart and daily physical reminders when she meets Charlie (played by Eddie Redmayne), a fellow Nurse, at work. They become quick friends while working the night shift together, and Charlie becomes her rock. He becomes the person to help her through her physical pains, someone to cover for her at work, someone she trusts, who is aware of her condition.
Charlie becomes close to Amy’s children too. He gains further understanding of Amy’s life when she confides in him about her heart condition, and he positions himself as trustworthy, kind and supportive. Suddenly when patients begin dying a lot more than usual on the ward mysteriously, Charlie becomes the prime suspect in a police investigation that goes digging into his past employment. Amy is left taking considerable risks to prove why she thinks she can help the police solve this case.
The Good Nurse could have gone deeper
Based on the 2014 book The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder – The True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder by Charles Graeber, Redmayne plays Charlie fittingly in this chilling Netflix thriller. He plays a hospital killer well, but I feel he could have gone much deeper and harder with this character. He displays a very dark side amongst the kind nature he shows Amy, a tension-filled busy mother who is now faced with her new best friend potentially murdering her patients.
Having said that, Redmayne is not as creepy as one would expect of a murderer. If the film didn’t prove his guilt, he is almost believable as a ‘good nurse.’ He comes off as surprisingly charming, caring and lovely to Amy’s daughters. However, the sunny view of him grows dimmer as the movie goes on.
Interestingly, Amy is more the focus throughout the movie. She’s a candid reflection of the awful healthcare system in the US, as she struggles with her condition. She needs healthcare and is advised to stop working, but she needs to work a few more months for her healthcare to kick in. The kicker is that she is supposed to have an operation on her heart in two months. Charlie promises to help her through this, before he starts murdering patients at their hospital.
This film is extremely grainy and dark, cold and rainy, especially in the beginning, even as Charlie’s issues take over at his job. The screen visually brightens up as the investigation goes on. The two police officers, Tim and Danny make a great duo as, if not for their perseverance, the investigation would not have occurred.
There is something to be said about the hospitals Charlie worked for who simply fired him instead of calling the police when they had worries, when they heard rumours about the many deaths on the ward. Amy here becomes the most courageous as she informs the police of what she knows and most importantly, what she feels is true. She crosses Charlie, her friend, but for good reason, to get him to confess and get him away from her daughters and the innocent patients, once and for all.
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- Jessica Chastain's performance
- A candid reflection of the US healthcare system
- Eddie Redmayne's performance
- Needed to go deeper into the issues