Netflix’s Taiwanese Virus-Outbreak drama, “Eye of the Storm,” is a hazy reminder of the days of the COVID pandemic. The film is a little haphazard in its execution, with multiple plots that come across only as tropes. But strong, emotionally-stirring performances from the cast stop you from completely disregarding the film. Even though the film utilizes multiple tropes that come hand in hand with virus-outbreak thriller movies, the ending is quite novel. Here is an analysis of the plot summary and the ending that keeps things poignantly open.

Eye of the Storm (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Dr.  Zheng Xia (Wang Po-Chieh) is not the nicest guy to be around. He is not particularly motivated by doctors’ ‘saving lives’ motto, something Nurse Tai-He (Tseng Jing-Hua) is quick to point out. He reminds Dr. Xia of the shift ending time and the patient Dr. Xia should be tending to. Dr. Xia finds relevant excuses all the time. The shift is nearing its end time, is his first one; the patient is about to be discharged is the other excuse.

But it is Dr. Xia’s misfortune that he is surrounded by people who genuinely want to do good. One such person is junior doctor Lee, who Dr. Xia already chides for bringing more workload. No wonder Dr. Lee and Tai-He are seemingly in love with each other. When Dr. Xia leaves the hospital a little early to attend his daughter’s birthday, he is quickly called back for an emergency patient. The taxi driver, who was driving Dr. Xia home, brings him back to the hospital. The old taxi driver is another benevolent person Dr. Xia randomly comes across.

Now, till now, there is no indication of the titular ‘storm’ coming. Dr. Xia has a journalist friend, Lin, who is admitted to the hospital for a minor procedure. He is the one who brings the first hit. The rumor that a deadly SARS virus outbreak is in the offing. Lin tells Xia that he has reason to believe that the hospital has recently taken a patient infected by the virus. Right on cue, the hospital goes on a lockdown as authorities surround the building and stop people from coming and going.

The taxi driver gets trapped as well. What follows from this instance is the usual frenzy of paranoia and people turning on each other. A division starts to rise between the two wings of the hospital building. B wing, which contains most of the infected patients, starts to get quarantined within the already quarantined hospital. Some of the staff members refuse to work with Tai-He, as he has served in the B wing. Despite Dr. Lee’s vehement protest, Tie-He has to go to B wing.

Eye of the Storm (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

How Did Dr. Lee Convince the Staff on Strike to Come Back to Work?

Eye of the Storm (2023) Movie Ending Explained
A still from Eye of the Storm (2023)

The rebellious staff members do not stop after banishing Tai-He. Many of them stop doing their work as fear of the virus also spreads in the A wing. Paranoia starts to grip everyone. One of the older cancer patients whom Nurse Tai-He was looking after died by suicide. Dr. Xia and Dr. Lee try to save him but cannot. This made the young Doctor Lee lose control of herself. She hammered on the doors of the offices of the staff members who had refused to work.

She asks them to do their duty. Dr. Lee passionately reminds them of their priorities. The oaths they took when coming to the profession of saving lives. She breaks down while rebuking and pleading with the reluctant staff members. Her plea is not answered immediately, but it would go on to resonate with some of the workers. We see some reluctant nurses and staff members returning to share the workload.

Is Dr. Xia Infected Too?

Dr. Xia, who just wanted to get out of the hospital from the moment it was put under lockdown, carries out a separate investigation with journalist Lin. Their goal is to find the patient zero. Xia wants the patient to be quickly found so that he can leave quickly. Their investigation goes through many steps, but eventually, Dr. Xia learns about the hospital’s patient zero. In turn, he realizes that the patient that was brought in for him in the emergency room was also infected. So, Xia has already come in touch with an infected patient.

Meanwhile, every sacrifice and noble deed that keeps on happening around him finally shakes something within Dr. Xia. So, when the time comes to flee, Dr. Xia chooses to remain at the hospital. Not only that, he also chooses to operate on a pregnant SARS-infected patient in B Wing. During that operation, Xia chooses to remove his protective goggles, to better see and complete the operation successfully. Thus, he saves the patient’s life but with the price of exposing himself to the virus. In the end, when Xia calls his daughter after checking his body temperature, it is confirmed that he is infected.

Does Tai-He survive?

The film ends on a cliffhanger where Dr. Xia and Tai-He, who were shown to be opposites of each other, resign to their fate after being infected. Both of them take a breather after saving a life. Tai-He saved a patient’s life, even though he is a patient himself. When Tai-He sees Dr. Xia in the same corridor, he realizes that Dr. Xia is no longer the selfish person he was. That is why they exchange a mutually understandable smile. Both of them are infected and yet determined to help others.

What about others?

The taxi driver that got trapped helped everyone in his vicinity during the lockdown. He was shown to be a real hero. His friendship with the young daughter of the head nurse is heartwarming. When the young girl learns the news of her mother’s death, she is understandably devastated. But she ensures that her new friend learns about her condition. Dr. Lee continues to help the patients after successfully changing the minds of the rebellious workers. Whether she will ever see Tai-He again remains a cliffhanger, and the narrative ends on that ambiguous note.

Read More: The Best Netflix Original Movies, Ranked

Trailer:

Eye of the Storm (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
The Cast of Eye of the Storm (2023) Movie: Po-Chieh Wang, Jing-Hua Tseng, Hsueh Shih-ling
Eye of the Storm (2023) Movie Genre: Drama/Mystery & thriller, Runtime: 1h 58m
Where to watch Eye of the Storm

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