We are who we are because of our experiences and memories; that’s what’s at the heart of this delicate 2017 sci-fi movie, Rememory.
Working from this concept, brilliant scientist Gordon Dunn builds a device able to record and project a specific moment in the past from any person’s mind onto a screen.
After many years of effort, the prototype seems ready to leave experimentation and finally arrive on the market.
So he presents this fantastic new technology at his company’s headquarters, Cortex, amid the public applause and enthusiasm of his young partner, Lawton.
Also arriving at the presentation is the troubled Sam Bloom, a man with a harrowing past who is obviously interested in this revolutionary invention’s practical uses.
Unfortunately, he does not get to talk to Mr. Dunn in time because the next day, someone finds him dead on the floor in his own office.
Although bullet holes are in the room’s wall, the scientist appears to have died of natural causes.
Bloom, though, is not as convinced, staying outside the building without the courage to go inside, yet getting a good look at the various people who came in and out during the night.
After going to Dunn’s house and bonding with his widow, Carolyn, the man steals the device prototype and several strange glass tags.
Indeed, these tags contain the memories of all the participants in the project’s experimental group, among whom Bloom believes is the killer.
So he begins to investigate by watching these memories and questioning these people, claiming to be an investigator working for Cortex.
However, he has not been truthful to the end either, because even in his past, a devastating memento links him to the late Mr. Dunn.
A soft symphony of hues and tones
Usually, sci-fi and thriller stories have an increasing pace keeping the tension on a razor’s edge until the plot’s climax.
However, Rememory is a 2017 movie breaking that convention by gradually slowing down toward the finale.
This does not imply the story becomes boring; on the contrary, the intimacy between the characters intensifies, becoming more and more enjoyable.
Scene after scene, their memories merge into a single experience, offering a different perspective on their lives and connections.
Unexpectedly, these seemingly disconnected stories end up weaving together a more prominent, emotionally rich, and complex narrative.
Director Mark Palansky adopts a distinctive visual style to delineate the complex plot of Rememory.
The color palette ranges from delicate blues and whites to represent memories, while the real world is depicted in darker, desaturated tones, creating a stark contrast between the two dimensions.
Together with Mike Vukadinovich, Palansky develops a script dense with compelling characters and intriguing situations.
Initially, none of these elements seem central, yet as the story unravels, it becomes evident how essential each character is in arriving at the surprising ending.
Therefore, this progressive revelation of the links between the stories and their hidden meanings is like so many small milestones in a fascinating journey through the human mind.
The distinctive style also extends to Gregory Tripi‘s soundtrack, emphasizing the narrative’s facets with a skillful combination of contrasting sound elements.
Thus we have impersonal and electronic sounds in the tense scenes, amplifying the mystery in the protagonist’s investigation.
At the same time, when memories-related emotions emerge, Tripi opts for gentle melodies, evoking a sense of nostalgia and intimacy.
Having said that, what are the characters’ faces that brighten the many moments of this story? Let’s take a closer look at the most important ones.
Never forget to endure the memories
The excellent performances of Rememory‘s cast blend similarly with the various characters’ memories, creating a compelling mosaic of emotions and feelings.
Of course, at the center of this symphony of performances stands out the most prominent and famous of the bunch, Peter Dinklage, known to audiences for the famously ingenious Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones.
In the leading role of Sam Bloom, the talented little actor captivates the spotlight right from the start, delivering a persona that does not fall sharply between good and evil, instead appearing simply flawed and human, therefore fantastic.
Equally impressive is the performance of Julia Ormond, an often underrated British actress, who turns out to be a key player as Carolyn, Gordon Dunn‘s widow.
Combining this woman’s beauty with her sad and inconsolable manner, the chemistry between Ormond and Dinklage is palpable, framing all the other characters in the splendid combination.
The figure of her husband, the brilliant scientist played by Martin Donovan, acts as simply a catalyst for everyone else. Still, although he dies almost immediately, his presence becomes even more central to the unfolding of the entire story.
Donovan brings to life an ambitious but profoundly human character who, while hurting and taking advantage of others, also shows a genuine desire to help humanity and his patients through his revolutionary invention.
Instead, I want to criticize the use of Henry Ian Cusick in the role of his partner, Lawton, in my opinion, a wasted element that never really reaches a conclusion between the company’s ambition for profit and the scientist’s philanthropist.
That’s a shame because the famous actor from the series Lost (where he was the lonely castaway Desmond) had the right face and charisma but was only a villain until a certain point and disappeared without much depth.