Fever Dream
Fever Dream (Image Credit: Netflix)

Netflix’s Fever Dream Review: A Dark But Cinematically Pleasing Movie

Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Joydeep Ghosh

Fever Dream is a psychological thriller film directed by Claudia Llosa and based on Samanta Schweblin’s 2014 novel by the same name.

Fever Dream was premiered at the San Sabastian International Film Festival on September 20, 2021.

It was released in the United States of America on October 6, 2021, in select theatres.

Later, Fever Dream was released on Netflix on October 13, 2021.

The plot of Fever Dream

Fever Dream is set in rural Argentina, where Amanda, played by Maria Valverde, comes to spend the summer holidays in a rented house with her little girl, Nina, played by Guillermina Sorribes Liotta.

Her forever busy husband, Marco, played by Guillermo Pfening, stays back at home.

Amanda gets to meet her friendly neighbor, the beautiful Carola, played by Dolores Fonzi, who arrives with two buckets of water, with a warning that the tap water is always not fit to drink.

Carola has a son named David, who has suffered from a strange illness that has altered him so much that Carola refuses to believe that David is her son anymore and even asks Amanda not to let Nina play with David.

Fever Dream
Scene from Fever Dream (Credit: Netflix)

In the opening scenes of Fever Dream, Amanda is seen lying in the woods, incapable of movement.

She is suffering from fever dream (the nightmares and hallucinations a body experiences when trying to fight a severe infection attack).

She feels that someone is dragging her, and hears David’s voice, requesting her to stay awake and keep revisiting her past, keeping an eye on the details.

In her fever dream, Amanda sees herself visiting this small village with her daughter, Nina, a place Amanda had visited in her childhood with her father and had loved it.

What had really happened to David in Fever Dream?

Carola had told Amanda that all the children in the village were born deformed due to some unknown reason.

Thankfully, David was born a normal kid, but Carola kept worrying about him. Carola’s husband, Omar, being a racehorse breeder, kept horses at their place.

At one time, Carola and David had to go to the woods, chasing a stallion who had fled from the stables.

In the woods, David played in the stream water. The stallion died that very night, and David, too, got seriously ill, indicating that stream water was poisoned.

Fever Dream
Scene from Fever Dream (Credit: Netflix)

As the village lacked proper medical facilities, Carola took David to a faith healer, who told Carola that only the migration of souls could now save David.

It meant that if a part of David’s soul migrated to a healthy body, a part of the poison too would go out of David’s body.

However in this process, part of an unknown soul would enter David’s body.

To save David’s life, Carola agreed to this. David’s life was saved, but this process changed him completely.

Who or What Poisoned The Stream Water in Fever Dream?

It turns out that the water the whole village used was poisoned by the abundant use of pesticides in the village’s farming lands.

This poison was the cause of the children being born deformed and was slowly poisoning the village’s residents, birds, and animals.

What Happened to Amanda and Nina in Fever Dream?

Amanda decided to leave the village and went to visit Carola for the last time at her pesticide company office, where she worked, and the workers were seen spraying pesticides.

Carola walked with them in the wheat fields, where Amanda suffered a stroke, probably because of the heavy quantity of pesticides in the air.

Carola hospitalized her in the small facility that was available in the village.

In her fever dream, Amanda saw dew drops on wheatgrass and Nina running to her, saying that the dew had gotten her wet.

David’s voice urged her to try to understand the situation better.

Amanda realized that this was not dew but the drops of poisonous pesticides.

As the hospital facilities were not adequate to save Nina’s life, Carola took her to the Greenhouse where the faith healer lived.

Fever Dream Ending Explained

Carola had her own ulterior motive in taking Nina to the faith healer.

She was very fond of Nina and wanted to fill the void in David’s soul with Nina’s spirit.

David warned Amanda of this, and she requested David to take her to the greenhouse to save David’s soul.

Suddenly, Amanda felt Nina drifting away as Amanda breathed her last breath.

Fever Dream
Scene from Fever Dream (Credit: Netflix)

After Amanda’s death, Marco visited Carola’s place sometime later, trying to find the answers to the unsolved puzzles.

He told Omar that Nina acted strangely after this incident. Omar was surprised to listen this as he, too, had felt the same with David’s behavior.

Meanwhile, David was seen entering Amanda’s car and holding Nina’s favorite stuffed toy lovingly.

It shows that a part of Nina is inside David. Omar dragged him out of the car, both fathers failing to realize that Nina’s soul had completed David.

David looked longingly at the car as Marco drove away. After this incident, Carola left the village and her family to pursue her dream of touring around the world.

Netflix’s Fever Dream Review

Should we watch it or skip it? 
Watch It! The movie, Fever Dream, raises a very relevant issue, without being preachy, of how humans are exploiting nature to fulfill their selfish needs. Humans tend to forget that they are not the only inhabitants of this planet. The psychological angle adds thrill to the storyline. The cinematography by Oscar Faura is beautiful, having captured the landscape in an exotic manner so beautifully that we almost forget that this place teeming with beauty is also infested with disease and deformity. The background score by Natalie Ann Holt is also brilliant. So, all in all, you will have a good experience while watching the film so if we had to rate it we would give it 75/100.  
75
More Stories
Who Killed Phil in The Power of the Dog
Who Killed Phil in The Power of the Dog?