Student Perspective: Take Shelter takes place in a small town in Ohio, where Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) lives with his beautiful wife Samantha and daughter Hannah, who is deaf. He has a great job as a construction crew chief but money is still tight. As the movie progresses, he begins to have visions and nightmares of horrific storms, tornadoes, and of being attacked. Due to these visions Curtis becomes consumed with building an adequate storm shelter for him and his family. His delusions and hallucinations stem from paranoid schizophrenia, a diagnosis he shares with his mother, and one that ultimately places strain on his personal relationships. In the Chicago Tribune, movie critic Michael Philips gave the film 3.5 stars and Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post rated the film with 4 stars and described it as “taut, unsettling, haunting and powerful.” We couldn't agree more with these sentiments.

Student Perspective: Take Shelter focuses on the viewpoint of the patient, which provides students with a unique experience. In the classroom, we learn extensively about the medications and diagnostic criteria, but we rarely get a glimpse into the life of the patient. What surprises us most is that he is knowledgeable about his condition. He checks out books about schizophrenia from the library and consults his mother about their family history. Oftentimes, we assume that our patients are not aware of their condition and that other people notice signs and symptoms first. Yet, Curtis is the first to realize that he is having symptoms of the disease, and he seeks help without the assistance of his family and friends. We recommend this film to other pharmacy students and the general public because it accurately portrays the struggles and challenges of an individual with schizophrenia.

Psychiatric Pharmacist Perspective: On the surface Take Shelter is a film about a man with schizophrenia. The film focuses on Curtis LaForche and his visions of destructive natural disasters, namely thunderstorms. However, a deeper look into the film reveals a little more of director Jeff Nichol's intentions. During an interview with Christal Smith of the Huffington Post, Nichol articulates his general method for writing by saying; “ …I write from some kind of universal feeling or emotion and with this one I picked anxiety…” Nichol goes on to say that he is responding to the climate in the world around him, which provided the foundation of his work for Take Shelter. While Nichol does not wish to equate disaster preparedness with mental illness, he sets up a scenario that allows his viewer to see a little of themselves in his main character.