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Archive for April 13th, 2010

Remember Me

News Flash, Robert Pattinson can act.  Tyler Hawkins (Robert Pattinson) is a sensitive but tortured, rebellious and volatile young man, part Jim Stark and part Holden Caulfield. When he first meets Ally Craig (Emilie de Ravin) his motives aren’t exactly honourable but that soon goes out the window as the pair fall deeply in love.  Ally also has her problems, the cause of them forms the movies prologue ten years before the main narrative.  This prologue also give as huge clue to the movies conclusion. That is about as much plot spoiler you will get from me. As the story unfolds we also see Ally’s farther, a brilliant as ever Chris Cooper and Tyler’s parents Lena Olin and Pierce Brosnan.  We also get the sub plot of Tyler’s eleven year old sister Caroline (Ruby Jerins) who has problems at school surrounding her inability to make friends.  The narrative mainly deals with the traumas the characters have gone through in their lives and the issues they carry with them.  This obviously results in the type of people they are, it is no great secret that we are dealing with broken people looking for direction or meaning.

Director Allen Coulter has been working in television for more than twenty years but to the best of my knowledge this is his first feature, he does a great job with the actors getting emotional performances without descending too far into melodrama.  The film is also well paced and well constructed.  The basic idea of the setup involving Pattinson and de Ravin’s relationship has been done before but usually in teen comedies not more serious movies, it does work here though.  After his (intentionally?) wooden performance as Edward Cullen Pattinson was probably looking for a film where he couple prove his acting credentials, something that he more than does here. The scenes involving Pattinson and de Ravin are tender, warm and most importantly believable but the best scenes are reserved for his interactions with his screen farther Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan is an actor who can portray charming and charismatic but often strays into sleazy and slimy, this is why more often than not he struggles to get away from his star-making turn as James Bond; he is an actor of limited depth, here though, he is a revelation and easily the best thing in the movie.

I understand the movie has received a bit of a critical bashing, this is probably unfair as on the whole it is a well constructed and extremely well acted movie.  I can understand some critics distaste for the movie as the final act really doesn’t work the way in should have.  The outcome does fit the movie but anchoring it in history was a mistake. With a theme of loss and despair I can see where the filmmakers were coming from but the result is a misstep for the movie as whole.  They just tried to hard to make the movie more than it is.

Three Stars out of five

 

* * * Warning plot spoiler * * *

 

I suggest above that the filmmakers tried to hard to make the movie more than it is, for those who are still reading you have already seen the movie or you don’t care about plot spoilers. You probably know by now that the movie ends on September 11, 2001. By doing this it is almost like they want the entire movie be a metaphor for the loss, grief, anger and recovery from 9/11. The film doesn’t do that and is cheapened by the attempt. It will be interesting to see how the movie ages.

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