Thursday, 18 September 2014
Before I go to sleep (3½ Stars)
Nicole Kidman, who appears in almost every minute of the film, stars as a 40-year-old woman called Christine Lucas. When she was 26 she was the victim of a violent assault that involved blows to the head. Ever since then she's unable to retain new memories. Every day when she wakes up she has forgotten everything that happened on the previous day, and she thinks that she's 20 years younger. Every day she wakes up next to her husband Ben, who she doesn't recognise, and he has to explain who he is before leaving for work. Every day she receives a phone call from a man, Doctor Nash, who says he is trying to help her retrieve her memory. The doctor instructs her to make a video diary on a camcorder every day. Every morning she has to watch the previous recordings, and every evening she has to record the new things she has learnt during the day. As she struggles to find the truth about her past she doesn't know if she can trust the doctor, her husband or anyone at all.
The similarity with "Memento" is obvious. Rather than dwell on the similarities I'll point out the one major difference. In "Memento" the emphasis of the story is Leonard Shelby trying to find his wife's killer, despite being hampered by his repeated memory loss. In "Before I go to sleep" the emphasis is on Christine Lucas trying to regain her lost memories.
This is a good film with a solid performance by the three main actors, Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth as the husband and Mark Strong as the doctor.