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HomeEntertainment'The Patient' review: Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson square off as therapist...

‘The Patient’ review: Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson square off as therapist against serial killer in a psychological chess match

The premise sounds easy sufficient, as Gleeson’s Sam, a serial killer, kidnaps his therapist, Dr. Alan Strauss (Carell), to be able to interact in some actually targeted work that he hopes will “treatment” him of his compulsions, or not less than assist curb them.

Chained to a mattress in a distant visitor room, Alan retains enjoying angles in his head that he hopes will hold him from changing into complicit in Sam’s avocation — or a sufferer himself — whereas searching for any lapse or weak point which may enable him to flee or persuade Sam to let him go.

There is a contact of Hitchcock in Alan’s everyman predicament, and extra occurring with Sam than initially meets the attention. For starters, there’s the query of whether or not he lives alone, and the way which may play into the psychological chess match that the therapist is grudgingly pressured to play.

Created by “The Americans” tandem of Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, “The Affected person” provides Carell one other stable straight dramatic function (after the ill-conceived “Space Force”), and capitalizes on Gleeson’s reward for conveying halting awkwardness, putting him on the alternative facet of the perilous dynamic he occupied within the sci-fi film “Ex Machina.”

Nonetheless, the cat-and-mouse interplay is clearly deemed inadequate to maintain the narrative even with the wrinkles thrown into it, and the story detours right into a collection of flashbacks concerning Strauss’ late spouse (Laura Niemi) and the way in which that he grew to become estranged from his grown son (Andrew Leeds), whose flip to a stricter adherence to Judaism induced a rift together with his mother and father.

The concept that Strauss would use this time to ponder his personal life is smart, however there’s a component of manipulation in each the way in which that storyline is introduced, and different gadgets used to get contained in the character’s head. On the plus facet, Carell’s portrayal is refreshingly actual when it comes to the character’s fears on this insane scenario, difficult the acquainted follow of remodeling an odd individual right into a superhero beneath perilous circumstances.

At its finest within the opening chapters, which run solely a few half-hour, “The Affected person” cannot absolutely maintain its promise and would have benefited from paring down the again story; nonetheless, the execution lastly proves unpredictable sufficient to justify the journey and principally keep away from the serial-killer cliches that too usually rear their ugly heads.

Odds usually are not everybody will really feel glad with the place “The Affected person” leads, but it surely does hold the viewers off stability, and pondering the decision a bit past the tip. If that is not the prescription for a completely rewarding end result, not like some remedy periods, the producers not less than should not be accused of losing your time.

“The Affected person” premieres Aug. 30 on Hulu.

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