Terrifying true life story of a woman losing herself to a mysterious disease [Review]

Terrifying true life story of a woman losing herself to a mysterious disease [Review]

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Chloë Grace Moretz is brilliant in her role as Susannah Cahalan.
Photo: Golden Scene Co. Ltd.

Based on the true-life experiences of journalist Susannah Cahalan (Chloë Grace Moretz), Brain on Fire is the story of a woman who is slowly losing her mind to a disease.

The movie opens with Susannah, waking up in a hospital bed. Surrounded by medical equipment, she panics and starts screaming. Then suddenly, we jump to a scene from her past, when she was still healthy, and working her dream job at the New York Post.


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At first, Susannah only feels “fuzzy”. She has trouble focusing and is always tired. Her colleagues don’t notice it, but then she screws up an important interview. Her boss, not knowing that Susannah is seriously ill, sends her home – which only adds to her stress.

Soon, her symptoms become more serious. She starts having hallucinations, and even seizures. It leads up to her waking up in the hospital, unable to remember the previous month.

Her parents (played by Carrie-Anne Moss and Richard Armitage), and her boyfriend Stephen (Tyler Perry) try to help, but no one seems to know what’s wrong with her. Each doctor has a different explanation for her condition, and most of them want to put her in a mental home.

Despite her terrifying ordeal, Brain on Fire is a very uplifting story, and Moretz does a great job as a woman losing her hold on reality.

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