If you are a devotee of time travel...

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Rememory: Hot and Cool Review

 I finally saw Rememory on Amazon Prime.  Or maybe I saw it a while ago, but forgot to review it.  As Todd, a middling-minor character in the movie aptly notes, "the mind forgets things for a reason".  No, Rememory wasn't that bad.  But it wasn't as good as it should have been, either.

As a science fiction film/psychological thriller about memory, it isn't in the same league with Total Recall (1990) or Memento (2000).  It's smaller and ultimately less important.  But it does have something going for it, in its story of a device that allows people to capture their memories, put them on the equivalent of a thumb drive, and see them again.  And it does have some good even memorable acting by Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones and Julia Ormand of lots of superb movies.

The plot concerns who killed the memory device inventor, Gordon Dunn.   The investigator - private, not for hire, but private as in personal reasons - is Sam Bloom (Dinklage), who is working through his own terrible memories of driving with his brother into a car crash which killed him (his brother).  We don't learn who was in the other car until close to the end, and that's a big twist.

The meat of the movie, though, is routine, as Bloom eliminates suspects who pretty obviously didn't do the crime, meaning you can figure that out without a memory machine.  But the first twist - before the one close to the end - is good:  Dunn killed himself.  [Big spoiler follows]

And the big twist?  Dunn and his wife (Ormand) are also suffering from a memory of a tragedy, the loss of their daughter.  It turns out that she was killed in a car crash - the very crash in which Bloom's brother succumbed.   We learn this when Bloom is able to view a memory stick of his own memories of the crash.

At least, that seems to be the explanation.   Why Carolyn Dunn (Gordon's wife) didn't have that memory - she was in the passenger's seat of that other car, Gordon was driving, and their daughter was in the back seat - is not entirely clear or explained in the movie.  The explanation, rather than shown, is instead a logical supposition based on what we're told about the memory machine allowing people to not just record but delete and change their memories.  And/or, the trauma of the car crash caused them both to have amnesia of the crash.

Which is ok, as an example of the power of McLuhan's cool - the power of ambiguous presentations obliging our minds to fill in the details.  But for the purposes of this movie, I'd have preferred a little more explicit (hot, in McLuhan's terms) detail.   Anyway, if memory and science fiction are your cups or glasses of tea - hot or iced - see Rememory.

 about institutional more than personal memory:  The Plot to Save Socrates 

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