A filmmaker’s ultimate goal is to keep the audience wondering about what’s to come. Very few people have mastered the nuanced art of maintaining your interest. Fewer yet have the confidence to do it while crafting a captivating character study.
Director Christopher Charrier attempts both endeavors admirably. His notion of a twisted tale about a boy recalling his dreadful past and the reality of his own mental state benefited his work.
However, it fails fatally by not knowing when to stop. The Lost Patient contains far too many plot twists and unaddressed questions that I am certainly not even the creators are aware of.
Thomas Grimaud awakens in a hospital after his entire family, save for his sister Laura, has been murdered. Anna, his therapist, works with him to recall the events of the night and those preceding it. Thomas recalls seeing a “monster” or “the man in black” who murdered his family with great clarity.
As the memories become increasingly powerful and pervasive, Thomas has difficulty discriminating between fact and fantasy.
The more he learns, the more he suspects Anna and the physicians of engaging in a complex plot to keep him from Laura.
In The Lost Patient, reality and imagined reality move in tandem. Charrier deserves credit for making the shift between the past and presents seamless and significant.
When such an effort is undertaken, the later component is typically absent. More often than not, the design focus is on making transitional times memorable and stylish.
Here, Charrier accomplishes so with such subtly that you don’t notice the intricacies until you discover the primary premise. Without these memories, Thomas’ illusion and core motivation could not have been formulated.
The proverbial “but” is now followed by pleasant words. Despite their critical significance, the number of flashbacks is excessive. The dispersed information is too broad and unclear. They are not curated in a manner that would have kept us more informed of what is actually occurring.
It makes it quite difficult to follow the plot, however. Charrier impedes our access in a manner that borders on obscurity. In fact, there are periods in the middle of the novel where it is difficult to understand what is happening.
Even though we achieve a conclusion, there are just too many unresolved issues for comfort. Numerous questions remain unresolved, and the red herrings only serve to portray Charrier as an ineffective operator.
The Lost Patient’s opening sequence is evocative of the South Korean film Remember (2022) and films such as Lucy and Memento. Given the profile and scope of Charrier and the film, a comparison would be inappropriate.
future initiatives can undoubtedly draw inspiration from these powerful pieces. The unreliable narrator is a useful device, but it should not be employed experimentally or thoughtlessly.
The application must be specific and include a detailed plan of action. The film fails to properly capitalize on this, which is part of the reason it does not have the desired effect.
Thomas and Laura are portrayed by Txomin Vergez and Rebecca Williams, respectively, who put forth a respectable performance. They have good chemistry that allows them to pursue intimacy without jeopardizing their sibling bond. Both actors add great energy to their roles, making it worthwhile to see the plot unfold.
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Laura’s narrative and personality are infused with a very French flavor. I got the impression that all mainstream French films subtly sexualize their female protagonists by making them weak. The gentle touches used to portray them are a great approach to counter the male gaze, and The Lost Patient continues this tendency with Laura. Besides the obvious, this was one of the most intriguing features of her character and how she was presented in the novel.
The Lost Patient feels like a squandered opportunity on the whole. There are many things to respect and admire in the story structure, but it is also its fatal flaw. A passable one-time viewing but nothing particularly outstanding.
Where to Watch and Stream The Lost Patient Free Online
- Disney Plus
- HBO Max