Gilbert Speaks on “The 9th Life of Louis Drax”

15 Jul

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I found the newest addition to my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection. It begins with the death of a child, but don’t let that dissuade you from watching this magical thriller. Can Louis find a way to tell the staff of the Coma Unit what really happened to him? Find out after the jump.

Plot

The 9th Life of Louis Drax is a 2016 supernatural thriller directed by Alexandre Aja and based on a book by Liz Jensen. It stars Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth, Oliver Platt and Aaron Paul.

I was really happy to see Jamie Dornan in this film especially after binge watching three seasons of The Fall on Netflix. Jamie Dornan is an excellent actor who in this film is more of a secondary character that helps move the plot along during the few slow parts. The story is narrated by the child, Louis Drax (Aiden Longworth), a nine-year-old precocious child who reveals his life through a series of vignettes that inform us of his many near-fatal accidents that eventually lead to his falling off a cliff and drowning.

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In the beginning, we are led to believe that this child is just plain clumsy, or worse, suicidal. I mean this kid is has cheated death so many times that I’m surprised the Emergency staff at the local hospital wasn’t suspicious. Louis is an odd child, but his observations of people are unnaturally mature for his age. This boy has a strong distrust of men even though his father, Peter Drax (Aaron Paul) is a loving and protective man. The boy also kills his pet hamsters after they’ve reached the ripe old age of two. He tells the kindly psychiatrist Dr. Perez (Oliver Platt) that this ritual is justifiable because it is a natural rite of disposal.

This is not something a normal child can think up on his own, which causes Dr. Perez to question if the boy is being abused by the father. Natalie Drax (Sarah Gadon) is this beautiful sprite with big sad eyes that makes everyone who meets her eager to protect her…including the very married Dr. Pascal.

Louis

Louis was deader than a doorknob when they found him in the water. He was dead when they wheeled him into the morgue, but that boy had one more life on his plate, and he is soon in the care of Dr. Allan Pascal (Jamie Dornan). Aiden Longworth is a beautiful child and this helps us connect to the obnoxious character that he plays in the film.

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Louis can be bratty at times and, he doesn’t hesitate to push Dr. Perez’s buttons when he can. I was surprised when he ratted out his dad’s brief encounter with an ex-wife while at SeaWorld. It was an innocent meeting and the ex-wife was accompanied by her husband and children…and yet…even after his father asked Louis not to mention it to Natalie, it was the first thing Louis did on entering the house. This caused a big blowup and a separation. It is for his ninth birthday that Natalie and Peter take Louis to the cliffs along the sea for a picnic. This is where, according to Natalie, that Peter threw Louis off the cliff before vanishing.

Conclusion

I’m not going to tell you the shocking ending, or who the real monster in this story is. Instead, I’ll share my thoughts of what happened to Louis while he was in a coma. Many years ago, during the early 1970’s through the early 1990’s, I worked at a neighborhood hospital in Philadelphia. I was the assistant to the Head Nurse of the Intensive Care Unit before transferring over to the Operating Room. We had many patients that were in comas. I’m also a psychic/medium, but I kept that ability secret.

What I saw too many times to ignore was that people in a coma were still able to connect to the world even though they were considered in a vegetative state. We had a visiting priest land in our unit who was in a coma. He was a healthy man that traveled here from Germany to stay at one of the local parishes. He got sick on the ship and fell into a state of unconsciousness. Because the hospital was a Catholic hospital, it was decided that the priest would stay in our unit.

This young priest was with us for months, but he wasn’t stuck to that bed. People in a coma have one foot on earth and the other in heaven. This priest was in a vegetative state as far as the medical team knew…but I could see his aura moving about. Like I said, I kept silent because I needed that job, but I would chat with this priest whenever I was helping with his daily care. I knew that he could hear me…he just couldn’t wake up.

Months went by, and then, as suddenly and mysteriously as he went into a coma…the priest awoke. The first thing he told the doctors and nurses was that even though he could not move his body, he heard and saw everything that went on in the Intensive Care Unit. He told us in the days following his recovery that his soul was stuck in a rowboat that floated upon a misty river. This boat floated to different places: some of which he recognized and some which were unfamiliar.

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I bring this story up because of what happens in the movie. Little Louis was trapped inside his body, but he knew what was going on. There was a sea monster that stayed with little Louis while he was in that coma. That kindly monster helped Louis to communicate with Doctor Pascal. The film does a wonderful interpretation of what happens with an out-of-body experience. Our souls are not anchored to our bodies and we are able to travel and return…especially when we need to deliver a message.

Watch the film to see the surprise ending. It gets a 4* rating from Granny.

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