Netflix Review | Night Nurse: Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne in Spectacular True Crime Thriller
An ever-growing global POP trend, the true crime genre has migrated from the underground of podcast playlists to the screens of Netflix, in an inexhaustible succession of miniseries and long documentaries that explore some of the most atrocious crimes recorded both in the United States, as well as in several other countries. Reaching before only a small share of cable TV subscribers from the channel Discovery investigation, today the format has become a genuine alternative entertainment movement, where onlookers feast on haunting stories that explore the human mind at its worst. But while productions like Dahmer: An American Cannibal can be too graphic, to the point of being considered a glorification of the serial killer (which is not the case), The Night Nurse recounts Charlie Cullen’s barbarism in the least probable, but much more important, point of view: that of the heroine who unveiled the real face of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The translation of the title “The Good Nurse” for The Night Nurse Couldn’t be more wrong. Comprehensive but extremely erroneous, the Portuguese version directs our eyes and attention to Cullen’s crimes. But the truth is that the original Netflix first released on Toronto Festival and based on the book The Night Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder (Charles Graeber), is not so much about him. Subverting the true crime genre in the right way – without falling into the same formulaic clichés replicated in previous productions -, the thriller based on real events explores the story of nurse Amy Loughren, who lived side by side with the serial killer who silently killed his patients. with insulin overdoses. Migrating from one hospital to another under suspicious circumstances, he managed to perpetuate his crimes for another 16 years.
And from the perspective of this good nurse, we see the duality of Charles, a seemingly upright and generous man who helped her through her worst moments, but who almost daily killed one of his patients during the night shift. and by the direction of Tobias Lindholm and script of Krysty Wilson-Cairns, the trajectory of America’s deadliest serial killer becomes an inspiring and encouraging story about an ordinary woman who, in the midst of all her conflicts and dilemmas as a single working mother, was able to end a cycle of violence like the management of some of the largest hospitals in the country have succeeded. Inviting the audience to a harrowing experience that deprives itself of the trivialization of violence, the filmmaker plays with our imagination and shows the murderer’s crimes always from the perspective of speculation.
Abusing the impressive and powerful performance of Eddie Redmayne like Cullen, The Night Nurse is a thriller that loses nothing to other long films of the genre that abuse the graphics. with the winner of Oscar in an internalized and introspective performance, we are presented with its powerful versatility. The star exudes talent, skill and wit in a natural and frightening way, as he is in a slight performance hybrid between a sweeter and more nurturing version – the one who helps nurse Amy – and his suspicious behavior that escapes in a few moments. In contrast, the also winner of the Oscar, Jessica Chastainoffers us an excellent performance that is more serene and tired, which shows the emotional state that the nurse lived at the height of her friendship with the serial killer.
With extras who are nurses in real life, the production portrays the medical community from the correct perspective, replicating the operational didactics of professionals in the field, as a way of also honoring them for their services to society. And instead of falling into the clichés of the true crime genre, where the serial killer leaves little traces of his behavior even when his true identity is still a mystery, Tobias remains in the realistic field of always showing Charlie through Amy’s perspective – who saw him only for the kindness of his care for her.
This strategy by the filmmaker makes the experience even more palpable for the audience, as it puts us in the same position as Amy, as those who will see the true face of evil only in its excellent climax. With a more optimistic vision that values the protagonist as the heroine without a cape in real life, The Night Nurse is another one of those gems launched by the Netflix. Haunting for its strategic atmosphere of mystery and with a cautious direction that takes advantage of the shadows of the night, in contrast to the artificial light, the thriller is an impeccable biopic made for true crime addicts or not.
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