RR's Short Take: A Cure for Wellness - A lesson in bad taste - 1.5 star

Short Take 
The phrase comes from the film industry that means a short bit of recording or “something that only takes a short time."

RR's Short Take review: A short review of a film with potential discussion points

RR's Short Take: 1.5 stars
Summary: One of the largest New York financial institutions is in the middle of a huge merger and the board is attempting stay one step of government regulators, but their CEO Roland Pembroke (Harry Groener) is unreachable. He has checked himself into a “wellness centre” in the Swiss Alps and has decided to remain there and leave behind the cut-throat world of high finance. In a desperate attempt to get things concluded with the merger, the board decides to send an ambitious executive named Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) to retrieve Pembroke. What seems like a simple task of getting the CEO on the next flight to New York, turns into something much more difficult and sinister. The wellness centre staff is resistant to help the young business man and test the limits of his patience. Then after a car accident, he finds himself under the care of the facility and the lead physician, Dr. Heinreich Volmer (Jason Isaacs). The young executive begins to see the therapy administered is having the opposite effect on the residence and many are going missing. During his stay, Lockhart befriends Hannah (Mia Goth), the youngest resident of the facility and begins to realise that the centre is not what it portrays to the patients and that those who reside at the spa are unable to leave. 

Short-take: The the wordplay of the title and the underlying concept of A Cure for Wellness has the workings to become a brilliant psychological thriller, but it quickly turns into a disturbing mess. This cinematic outing proves to be a lesson in managing the sheer excess of a convoluted story. Director Gore Verbinski (The Lone Ranger) proves that he has a wonderful eye for delivering visually captivating films, but like his previous projects he fails to brings all of the elements together for a satisfactory conclusion.

There is a hope that each element that is introduced would have a purpose, but so much of the script leads to unnecessary dead ends that detract from the central storyline. Then for the writers to incorporate the incestuous elements into the heart of the story proves to be less of shock value than a manoeuvre in bad taste. Dane DeHaan does his best with what he has been given. After awhile the lead actor seems to be not only perplexed by the script and where things are going, but this was a wise career choice. The only thing that makes sense was that the cast had to drink the wellness elixir to be convinced to be part of this project.

After an arduous 146 minutes, Verbinski should have rewarded the audience with something to ponder for years to come, but this fulfilment never materialises. Like the foul taste of the "vitamins" taken by the staff at the spa, the unexplained excess of this film will merely leave audiences with a bad taste in their mouth. 

Caution: This is full of adult content and it would be advised for mature audiences only.

REEL DIALOGUE: What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film? 

1. How should we respond to personal wellness? 
(Romans 12:1, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Timothy 4:8)

2. What does the Bible say about incest? 
(Leviticus 18:6-18, Deuteronomy 27:22, 1 Corinthians 5:1)

Trailer for the film

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingrevs #acureforwellness #incest