The series “The Patient” is a story about an elderly psychotherapist Alan and his patient Sam. Sam kidnaps him to deal with his overwhelming urge to kill. The chamber thriller “The Patient” contains 10 episodes. Although the plot of a maniac and his victim is tense, this project is only partly a psychological thriller. It is more like a drama about the difficult relationship between a doctor and a patient in need of help.
What is The Patient about?
The main character of the project – a recently widowered psychotherapist Alan (played by Steve Carell) – wakes up in bed, as if he had a bad dream. But it turns out that it was not a nightmare at all. Alan is in an unfamiliar basement, he is chained to a bed and realizes that he has been taken hostage by one of his unstable patients.
Patient Sam (Don Gleason) apologizes, but admits that – despite the absurdity of what is happening – he is not going to let Alan go. He needs a therapist to overcome his bloodthirstiness and desire to kill people.
The screen duel lasts for 10 episodes. On the one hand, two characters performed by venerable actors are completely different from each other. But each of them finds in his opponent the dark reflections of his own soul.
But if the pilot episode hangs guns on the walls of Alan’s dungeon, one of them is bound to go off. All this is intriguing, but as the story progresses, the tension subsides – and the series bends under the pressure of personal ambitions.
First of all, the story is destroyed because of the format itself. The director and screenwriters chose an unexpected and not entirely successful timing: each episode lasts no more than 25 minutes. It was supposed that each episode would become more dynamic and rhythmic, but in a strange way, the scriptwriters managed to make the story a real test for the audience for perseverance.
In those 20-something minutes, each episode only has time to look around and come up with one curious twist in the script, which is clearly not enough. In general, two hours of screen time per episode would have been more comfortable.
It is completely wrong that it is easier to work with a small form. In practice, such innovations in timing oblige the authors to be concise so that the audience does not get bored. But in The Patient, they often have to look at the wall clock and wonder, when will the episode end?
Everything is quite difficult, and the main characters come to life thanks to the skill of the actors. But the brilliant acting duo still lacks edginess. Hope for a curious development of their relationship is still given by Sam – an incorrigible liar, begging for help from a psychotherapist, but not striving to be completely frank with him. Alan has to find loopholes in the mind of the patient who kidnapped him. At the same time, he runs the risk of becoming infected with solid evil from him.
Viewers learn the story of Alan himself thanks to the broken plot structure: in all episodes there is a division into the present and the past. After all, a character can escape from his imprisonment only through memories. Alan recalls his wife, Beth, who was still alive, as well as his son Ezra, who later converted to Orthodox Judaism, still honoring his family and parents more than the commandments of the Torah. Gradually, the authors wish to equalize the experience of the patient and the doctor. Sam was repressed by the cruelty of his father, the carrier of the destructive gene; Alan, on the other hand, could not cope with the fact that his son was able to become independent and built his life on his own, without asking his father.
The meaning of the movie “The Patient”
Paradoxically, an expensive film project that has taken so much effort and money has faced the same difficulties as its jaded protagonist. But Sam differs from Alan in that he does not experience any stress and remorse. The writers skillfully incorporate trivial lures into the storyline to keep the audience interested. But there is no special meaning behind this, no matter how you look for it here.
Explanation of the ending of the film “The Patient”
Although Sam constantly declares that he needs Alan’s support and working out his craving for violence, he is only ready to change in situations that are comfortable for him. The Doctor, in turn, tries to convince him not to look for the next victim. By the end of the series, both Dr. Alan and the audience begin to feel a little sympathy for the maniac. But Sam still closes – does not want to remember his childhood, parents, the origins of his anger, his ex-wife and relationships with colleagues. Sam interrupts the sessions at his own discretion, runs away from them, neglects the elementary rules of decency and hides certain details from his life.
The series completely immerses viewers in the personal hell of a maniac. The dramatic film project “The Patient” can be called an excellent anti-example of the usual treatment of a person with a mental disorder to a psychotherapist.
The series literally pulls out all the skeletons from the cabinets of a wonderful, ambiguous patient, at the same time demonstrating how he got to the point that he crossed all the limits of decency in relationships with both the doctor and other people.
The series will appeal to those who love long abstruse conversations, getting to the bottom of the matter, chewing and pouring from empty to empty, as well as conversations, conversations and conversations.