This film is listed as a thriller and stars Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, and Brendan Gleeson. The story is about a med school student named Edward Newgate, played by Jim Sturgess, who gets a job at an asylum. He becomes fixated on Eliza, one of the patients and falls in love with her while finding out there has been an unusual staff change.
I chose this film after seeing some advertisements about it online a couple of months ago. I have always found stories about mental institutions to be intriguing and I was excited when I saw that Netflix had it available for streaming.
I enjoyed the film and it had two unexpected twists in it that made it a great story. The first twist happens at the beginning where the patients at the asylum take over and become the doctors and staff while the original staff and doctors are in the dungeon. The second twist is revealed at the end that the person who we thought was Dr. Edward Newgate was actually a patient impersonating his doctor from another asylum.
…the setting instantly drew me into the film as it was creepy, dark, cold, and mysterious…
Since the film boasted and all star cast, the actors of the film are easily recognized and of course, everyone did well portraying their roles. This translated into many of the characters being extremely likable.
Given the nature of the story, there were also a number of tragic characters,the most tragic being Dr. Silas Lamb and Dr. Benjamin Salt. Their stories were the most difficult to witness because of the experiences they went through or were made to endure. The former patients are so angry at the procedures and practices of Dr. Salt so they erase everything from him by making him undergo electro convulsive therapy (ECT).
Meanwhile, in an effort to save himself from ECT and to heal Dr. Lamb, Dr. Newgate shows Dr. Lamb a devastating picture of his past. This pushes Dr. Lamb to his breaking point and he becomes a hollow shell as well.
At the end of the movie, the rest of the remaining patients and staff are collected and cared for by the benevolent nurse who becomes the new superintendent whom ensures that no more inhumane practices were conducted. Meanwhile, the man who called himself Dr. Newgate, who was impersonating his doctor, ran away with Eliza, the patient he fell in love with, to a different asylum in Italy.
Aside from the characters portrayed and the story itself, the setting instantly drew me into the film as it was creepy, dark, cold, and mysterious and, according to the beginning film credits, it is based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe.
Overall, I enjoyed this film and recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers or movies about mental institutions. I don’t have anything negative to report on it and it has a happy ending, so I want to add this film to my personal collection. The two main characters may have been crazy but in the end they are together and happy. After all, that’s all anyone wants – to be happy.
All star cast