In French psychological mystery-thriller, The Lost Patient (aka Le Patient), the year is 2001 and 19-year-old Thomas Grimaud wakes to discover he has been in a coma for three years. Prior to being admitted into hospital back in 1998, his family were the victims of a brutal attack in their home, in which his parents and cousin were murdered and he was left for dead.
As Thomas slowly comes to terms with the shocking news, he begins to question the whereabouts of his sister, Laura. Laura was at home with Thomas on the night his family were murdered, but now she is nowhere to be found.
Over the next few days, Thomas begins to recall snippets from the past, including memories of his sister. At the same time, he begins to experience visions of a strange figure, who appears to haunt his waking hours.
Is Thomas remembering and seeing everything correctly, or in light of the trauma he has experienced, is his mind playing tricks on him? And more importantly, will he be able to recall what happened to his sister?
Directed by Christophe Charrier, The Lost Patient stars Txomin Vergez, Clotilde Hesme, Rebecca Williams, and Alex Lawther. The movie is new to Netflix, and is a dark, atmospheric picture, about one man’s attempts to unlock the secrets that are hidden in his own mind.
Told using extensive flashbacks, the movie follows Thomas’ journey as he recovers from his coma and goes through physiotherapy. With each passing day he gets a little stronger, and he begins to remember more about the events leading up to the murders.
As the story progresses, the mystery gets a little deeper, more time is devoted to Thomas’ family, and the circumstances of the murders are explored. The film teases out its information in small pieces, but always with enough story to keep things interesting.
And this the key to the success of The Lost Patient: It is always interesting. The film doesn’t contain the most startling mystery, and the narrative isn’t completely original, but every story beat, every character detail, and every little insight lands just right, and this ensures this movie remains an intriguing watch at all times.
The cast in The Lost Patient all put in solid performances, with Txomin Vergez being the standout star, and as Thomas he is tasked with playing through a range of emotions. He nails everything he is asked to do, and he is particularly strong during early scenes in the movie, when he begins to recover from the coma.
As for the rest of the film, the picture boasts good lighting, a note-perfect atmosphere, and great direction from director Christope Charrier. Charrier delivers on all fronts, and the end result is a gripping thriller which has enough substance to hold your attention.
While The Lost Patient doesn’t necessarily push any envelopes, it is good stuff throughout and shows a strong commitment from all involved to present a fully-formed, well-told story. At around 90-minutes in length, the film never oversteps the mark or runs out of steam, and is certainly worth taking a look at.
If you like psychological thrillers, and you’ve got time amongst all the other new movies doing the rounds at the moment (Bones and All, Matilda the Musical, Glass Onion, etc), then give The Lost Patient a watch. The film is perfect for a spot of late evening viewing.