Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Before I Go To Sleep.

You can almost guarantee a full house at my local cinema, the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, when certain criteria are met. The film must star household names, and its story should be based on a best selling book. At this weeks RBC Film Club the criteria was well and truly met with a complete sell out proving the point. 

Showing was the second film directed and written by Rowan Joffe Before I Go To Sleep (2013). His debut feature film you may remember was Brighton Rock (2010) a remake of the 1947 film of the same name. He has also been responsible for writing the screenplays for other movies including Last Resort (2000) and The American (2010).

The evening was hosted by a very welcoming Rachel Findlay who explained that Joffe’s adaptation was based on the debut novel of English born author Steven “S J” Watson published in the spring of 2011. It soon became a bestseller in many countries, having been translated into over 40 languages. Watson studied Physics at the University of Birmingham before moving to London where he worked at various hospitals and specialized as an audiologist in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing-impaired children. He worked on his book in the evenings and at weekends. It was Ridley Scott that bought the film rights shortly after the book was published and it was Scott that hired Rowan Joffe to direct and write the script.

Rachel explained that because of the plot twists in the movie she would refrain from giving too many details about the film so as not to spoil it for the audience members that had not previously seen the film or read the book. But I think its safe to say that’s it’s a psychological thriller in the vain of say Henri-Georges Clouzot or perhaps Roman Polanski, but to be fair not quite up to their class.

Can you imagine waking up each day not knowing who you are....
Christine Lucas is in her forty’s; she is suffering from anterograde amnesia brought on by a traumatic incident that took place ten years earlier. She wakes each day with no recall; not knowing who she is or who the man is sharing her bed? He tells her he is her husband Ben, her only contact with the outside world, that is until she starts seeing a Dr Mike Nasch a neurologist at the local hospital who gives her a camera to record her thoughts and progress each day, and calls her every morning to remind her to watch the video in the camera hoping that this will lead to her regaining her memory.

....even with a loving husband by your side!
The story is very seductive and the movie is fine until its spoilt by a very cheesy ending that’s not really required and does not increase your understanding or enjoyment of the film. Basically it’s a “three hander” with the always excellent Ms Nicole Kidman playing Christine, RBC heart throb Colin Firth as her husband Ben, with a non villainous Mark Strong portraying Mike Nasch. All play their parts with a believability that is a credit to both the story and the film.  And despite its disappointing ending and the slating it got from some of the critics it still offers a pleasant diversion for those of you that enjoy a good intelligent thriller.

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