9/08/2017

Review: ‘Rememory’: Peter Dinklage Tries To Solve A Crime “Inception” Style


Imagine a world where a corporation created a device that allows you to be able to review your memories of the past?  This device could let you be able to view your experience with crystal clarity, unfettered by your own preconceived notions and biases shaped from that perceived memory, allowing you to deal with trauma in a meaningful way.

In Rememory, on the eve of the device being rolled out to the public (after a beta test that didn’t go 100% the way it should have) the creator of the device Doctor Dunn (Martin Donovan) has been murdered.  While all his colleagues want to keep this a secret and solve it in house, a mysterious stranger named Sam (Peter Dinklage) shows up with the intention of solving the murder, and he may have his own ulterior motives as well.


Sam, who’s also dealing with his own trauma from the past (his brother died in a car crash after the two threw back a few rounds and Sam was behind the wheel) is obsessed with not only the rememory device, but also trying to figure out who’s responsible for Dunn’s death.  The list of suspects is pretty long.  Dunn made enemies out of the beta test.  Turns out forcing people to relive some of the worst memories of their life doesn’t curry favor.  One suspect is his mistress (Évelyne Brochu) who doesn’t want Dunn to have data discs of her past memories in his collection as she thinks they are private. Another suspect is Todd (the late Anton Yelchin in his last role), who is resentful to Dunn for unearthing a traumatic event from his past he had buried.  Of course, you also can’t count out Dunn’s partner Robert Lawton (Henry Ian Cusick), who knew about the possible side effects of the device and hid it from Dunn so that the company could make a lot of money off the sales.  They all have an ax to grind with the deceased doctor, and they all were at his office on the night of his death (including the reclusive Sam).  It’s up to Sam to first steal the rememory device so that he can access all the memories stored on it and try to solve the crime.


While Sam is trying to figure out the cause of Dunn’s death, he also wants to use the memory device for his own purposes.  He’s been dealing with his brother’s death for quite some time.  The trouble with memory is that it can change over time, and he can’t recall the exact moment of his brother’s death after the two crashed after a night of boozing.

“We are nothing more than the memories we keep” is one quote that is echoed throughout the film as to display that our memories shape our reality.  The purpose of the device is to help the user gain a crystal-clear perspective on their memories that may have faded or been skewed over time.  Using advanced technology, the user is able to gain a better perspective on what happened in their life, for closure, or to simply understand something that happened to them in their past.  If that concept sounds familiar, it’s because you saw it done much better in the Netflix show Black Mirror in the phenomenal episode “The Entire History of You.”  That doesn’t mean that Rememory’s delivery of the concept is poor, it’s just been one in a perfect manner somewhere else and as a result, it feels flat in this film.


Performance-wise, everyone brings their A game, especially Peter Dinklage.  When Game of Thrones goes off the air, he’s going to have a lucrative career as he completely sinks himself into this role.  The same goes for Anton Yelchin who plays the tormented former patient.  Given that Rememory is his last role, it further reminds us that we lost an interesting actor when he met his untimely death.  Martin Donovan and Julia Ormond shine in great supporting roles as Gordon and Carolyn Dunn.  Ormond plays Gordon’s grieving widow who not only has to deal with the loss of her husband (and his infidelity), but also the loss of their daughter as well.

Even though the film has some great performances by seasoned vets, the script is where it falls flat.  Many things conveniently have to happen in order for the story to make sense.  Certain character motivation isn’t crystal clear.  Is Dinklage’s Sam trying to solve the murder, or solve his own memory problems?  He tries to do both and literally spends most of the movie putting off each of those plot points to work on the other one.  The biggest problem would be the ending of the film that was very predictable and tried to be a little deeper than it is.  Like other films that toyed with memory and philosophy, it does its best to make the audience member think outside the box, but not too much outside of it.

2.5 out of 5