When a young nurse becomes emotionally involved with a patient’s care, she finds herself in more trouble than she could ever imagine.
Mehran Torgoley’s Committed takes place in the 1950s, at an understaffed and overpopulated psychiatric hospital. The paper-capped nurses, dressed in stark white, are supervised by one Joan Archer. Nurse Archer is a stern, bespectacled woman who rules with an iron hand. There’s only one person Nurse Archer kowtows to and that’s Dr. Thomas Harlin, the hospital’s director. The smiling Dr. Harlin appears to be both skilled and compassionate, but there’s an undercurrent in his personality that’s a bit alarming. The kind and beautiful Nurse Evelyn Johnson, the film’s lead character, is unlike her peers in that she really cares about her patients. Nurse Johnson can often be found teaching her patients cosmetics techniques, or playing games with them. Nurse Johnson is also unafraid of confrontation with anyone, including the hospital authorities.
One of the patients in Nurse Johnson’s care is Clara, a young paraplegic woman who appears emotionally sound, considering her morbid circumstances. It seems that Clara and her parents were in an accident, and while Clara’s the only one who survived, she soon finds herself committed by a relative to this particular hospital, because she’s too much trouble. Naturally, this causes Clara to shut down with everyone except the Nurse Johnson, to whom she tells everything. Unfortunately, this proves to be the downfall of Clara, Nurse Johnson, and anyone brave enough to view this film from start to finish.
Described as a short dramatic mystery, Committed is really a bone-chilling thriller, veering toward horror. Despite its simple plot about health care workers and those in their care, the finely crafted storyline is both shadowy and provocative. What I mean by this is that the characters and events may not be all that they seem.
Told from the points of view of Nurse Johnson and Dr. Harlin, it soon becomes apparent that one or both of them are not telling the truth. Just what is fact or fiction is left to us viewers, and even then, who’s to know if everything we see can be believed.
Sadly, that’s all I can give away right now for fear of talking too much (keep that statement in mind as you watch the film), but I will leave you with these two thoughts: This film is outstanding, and should be a feature.
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