Reminiscence (2021) Film Review

Director: Lisa Joy

Writer: Lisa Joy

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Thandie Newton

RATING: 2.5 Stars

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Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind, navigates the alluring world of the past when his life is changed by new client Mae. A simple case becomes an obsession after she disappears and he fights to learn the truth about her. – From IMDB

I wanted to love this. Movies that pay with memory and/or time are amoung my favourites, but this one didn’t resonate with me the way I wanted it too.

I had quite a lot of issues with this film. But my main one, and the most important one, was that I just didn’t care. As Nick is running around Miami, beating up bad guys and trying to get information on the whereabouts of Mae, I realised that I simply didn’t care what had happened to her. I was never engaged with her as a character, I don’t feel like we got to know her enough, and see her and Nick as a couple enough to then be invested in his hunt to find her. And because of that, the whole second half of the film was a huge drag for me.

I did like the modern Film Noir vibe that the film had. The foggy, moody setting, the Femme Fatale, the haggard Private Eye who offers a moody voice over the whole way through, gangsters, all classic Film Noir tropes that I love. The whole aesthetic of the movie was fantastic, and i was fully immersed in the world that they created, I just couldn’t get behind the story.

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I feel Thandie Newton was criminally underused apart from the one fantastic action sequence that she is a part of. Her character has this, clearly painful, background that we are meant to sympathise with, but we never learn enough about her character to fully appreciate it. And as all her development happens off screen, it doesn’t feel earned, it feels instantaneous. Hugh Jackman is as great as always, even if I do feel he may be getting a little too mature for these action type roles. And his chemistry with Rebecca Ferguson on screen is amazing. Ferguson though doesn’t do it for me here. She is going for sultry and seductive, like any good femme fatale should, but it never quite lands. Instead she comes off a bit wooden and a little too doe eyed. You are suspicious of her from the start rather than coming to be suspicious of her, and it kinda gives away the twist.

So yeah, not for me, which is sad, but without the disappointing ones, we would appreciate the gems.

‘Reminiscence’ is out in UK cinemas now!

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