Main Plot Points:
- Xu Ruining (Xu Zheng), a nationally renowned therapist incredibly skilled in hypnotherapy. But when his career takes off, he meets a patient named Ren Xiaoyan (Karen Mok) who brings him a complex problem. Xu Ruining discovers that with this particular case, the struggle between the doctor and the patient is not as easy as he expected.
- Despite her thin and weak appearance, Ren Xiaoyan always reacts violently to any problems with Xu Ruining. He wonders what exactly makes her closed-off to everyone. Is it from a painful memory in her childhood or the ring mark still visible on her middle finger? While sparing no efforts to figure out what has happened, he finds himself falling into a horrible trap…
What We Thought:
- I really, really liked The Great Hypnotist. It totally worked for me.
- To me, it’s a film I’d tell people to watch who say they don’t like or don’t know too many foreign films. I can see Hollywood totally remaking it for an American audience as well.
- I don’t want to talk too much about it because I could spoil it. You want to know as little as possible going into it like I did. I knew nothing about it. I had no idea it was an Asian film before I popped into the DVD player.
- What it is about is a hypnotherapist and a new patient. The patient is a referral from a former professor who thinks she sees ghosts. The doctor is ready to use any method possible to cure her of her issues. That’s all you need to know.
- The dynamic between doctor and patient is incredibly tense. 90% or so of the film is just these two characters in the doctor’s office plus some flashbacks/dreams. You’re never quite sure if the patient is playing the doctor or if the doctor cares enough to cure his patient at this point. It felt like a taught thriller.
- Then the layers start to unravel and man does it get really good. I have seen the lead actor in a few things before, but those were comedies. He was quite good in a dramatic role. I don’t think I’m familiar with the actress, but she was also very good.
- I sat watching The Great Hypnotist thinking that if Hollywood remade it with Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander it would be a really great, intense thriller like Gone Girl. It’s a really good movie, but I know the average movie goer has never heard of it or will watch it which is a shame. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be telling others to see it.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Zheng Xu
- Karen Mok
- Director Leste Chen
Recommended if You Like:
- Gone Girl
- Solid, Tense Films