The Paw Print
This 92-minute thriller and mystery tells the story of Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) who suffers from anterograde amnesia and is unable to form new memories. She can store information throughout the day but every night when she goes to sleep her brain resets itself. Everything she learned about her past and the accident from the previous day gets erased. She wakes up every morning very confused and frightened with no recollection of her past, sleeping next to a man, Ben (Colin Firth). Each day, Ben must reintroduce himself as her husband and tell her about their life together. He tells her that she lost her memory from a car accident she had years ago. Christine stills thinks she is a single woman in her 20s when she is really a married woman in her 40s.
One morning Christine receives a phone call. The man on the other end tells her that he is Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong) who is a neuropsychologist. Dr. Nasch says he specializes in her condition and tells her that they have been working one on one to help regain her memory in an experimental treatment program. He says that they are doing this without Ben’s knowledge at her request. They decide to get together to continue their work. When they meet, Dr. Nasch tells Christine that she wasn’t the victim of a car crash but instead a violent attack and she was left for dead. They decide to have Christine use a digital camera to record videos each night to help her remember what she learned the previous day.
Every morning after that Christine receives a phone call from Dr. Nasch after Ben has gone to work telling her to check the digital camera so she can remember what truths she learned the previous day. She slowly pieces together her video diary entries with bits of her past over the course of a couple weeks. Each time she is left wondering who can I trust? Who is telling me the truth?
Based on the best-selling novel by S.J. Watson, Before I Go To Sleep is a suspense-filled, fast-paced, and well-acted movie. Rowan Joffé does little to redefine the psychological thriller genre but still offers a well-put together movie that is sure to keep viewers intrigued and guessing. While some parts may seem predictable, Joffé does a fine job with undergoing changes to keep the film from following any cliché story lines. By keeping the films perspective from Christine’s character, Joffé is successful in keeping the audience in line with Christine. The audience doesn’t know more than Christine and are kept in that suspenseful moment with her. By doing this the film allows the audience to connect with Christine in a way that helps the audience understand her feelings: her frustration, confusion, and heartbreak. The viewers are able to reach the same conclusions that Christine will eventually assume and react to. Because of the strong performances of the lead actors this film is definitely well worth anyone’s time.
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