The Pitch: Psychotherapist Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) is a person within the grips of mourning — not only for the current lack of his spouse (Laura Niemi) to most cancers, but additionally for his strained relationship along with his son Ezra (Andrew Leeds), whose option to turn into an Orthodox Jew has drawn a deep rift in opposition to his extra liberal Jewish father.
However Alan receives the problem of a lifetime within the type of Sam Fortner (Domhnall Gleeson), a brand new affected person who appears cagey, mysterious, and unable to really open up. Seems, that’s as a result of Sam is a serial killer, one desperately trying to find a technique to stamp out his compulsions, and he hopes that Alan’s experience may help.
In traditional serial-killer trend, meaning kidnapping Alan, chaining him to the basement of his mom’s distant home out within the woods, and forcing him to conduct session after session to work out the basis of Sam’s murderous impulses. Complicating issues additional, his long-suffering mom Candace (Linda Emond) is aware of about Sam’s compulsions, however refuses to do something to compromise her son’s freedom.
It’s a sport of survival for Alan, one rooted in his need to stay as a lot as it’s to see Sam change his methods. And within the meantime, he will get loads of time amongst takeout meals and lengthy stretches of isolation to consider his personal grief, his relationship to Judaism, and whether or not he can escape his makeshift jail on his personal. Then once more… what if he can make Sam higher?
Analyze This: Remedy has lengthy been a fertile discipline for drama in movie and tv; take one character with heaps of battle and mash them in opposition to a dispassionate third get together whose job it’s to get beneath their pores and skin and reveal their hidden motivations/fears/hopes. You’ve received super potential for narrative catharsis.
However The Affected person ups the ante by giving its therapist character pores and skin within the sport — not solely does Alan have to only maintain speaking to outlive until the following day, he’s deeply involved for Sam’s future victims (Sam’s eyeing a Greek restaurant worker who handled him like crap at his job as a restaurant inspector for his subsequent goal). Most intriguingly, Alan additionally holds out the slimmest hope that perhaps, simply perhaps, he can truly change Sam for the higher, and it’s that hope that strings collectively a lot of The Affected person‘s narrative momentum.