When a fall from a cliff lands dramatically accident-prone Louis in a coma, a doctor begins to suspect that surreal, otherworldly forces are at work.
Director: Alexandre Aja
Information Page: https://uk.newonnetflix.info/info/80118554
The opening scenes of “The 9th Life of Louis Drax” are narrated by a young boy who we soon learn is Louis Drax (Aiden Longworth); a very accident-prone 9 year old boy. Every year, without fail, he has an accident of some sort on his birthday. For his 9th birthday, he plummets off a cliff and ends up in a coma. His mother Natalie (Sarah Gadon) is obviously distraught but her husband, Peter (Aaron Paul), is no where to be found. Peter, Louis’ step-father, has apparently done a runner after pushing his step-son off the cliff. Natalie is surprisingly calm about he husband’s actions and this catches the eye of the local police force who are investigating the case.
While in his coma, Louis starts talking to a gravelly, mysterious voice that asks him about his life. This is then used in the film as a way for us to learn his backstory by way of flashbacks that are interspersed within the police investigation and his mum’s coming to terms with the situation. We see some lighthearted moments with his therapist, Dr Perez (Oliver Platt) and we start to build up a picture of Louis’ childhood.
The film has two sub-plots: Louis’ history and the ongoing investigation. It’s based on the novel of the same name and the style of very much akin to chapters of a book: a bit about his past; a bit about the investigation; the two then coming together towards the end.
The arrival of Dr Pascal (Jamie Dornan), a specialist researcher into coma patients, has a major effect in the story. He comes alongside the family to try and work out what happened and how he can bring Louis back out from the coma. All the while, we have the commentary from Louis talking to the mysterious voice in his subconscious that then becomes a barnacle-covered sea creature. As Dr Pascal gets closer to Natalie, hand written warnings start appearing – seemingly from Louis. However, despite the creepy warnings Dr Pascal continues his work with Louis’ family and gets more mixed up with what’s happening.
There are a few twists throughout the story and an interesting turn to the fantasy element when Dr Perez is able to talk directly to Louis from within his subconscious – it does change the tone of the film slightly but not in a bad way. I’ll be honest, I worked out a few of the plot twists but it didn’t actually spoil anything – it was still a good film to watch. There were times when the tone felt very much like “Donnie Darko” – steady pacing, humour, melancholy and the subtle element of ‘weird’.
Overall I enjoyed watching “The 9th Life of Louis Drax”; there was a good mixture of mystery and the story was strangely gripping, if not a bit predictable.
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