Before I Go to Sleep (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Knowledge is power.

In my hometown, there is a local book club that meets up every month, and they always pick the stupidest books – so I’ve never met with them. However, in the last couple of months, they picked out Before I Go to Sleep – which for the first time ever, they picked out the kind of story I like – a thrilling mystery…but I still didn’t read it because the book club had a really bad track record for book choices. I decided instead to start with the movie that was just released and go from there. So how was it? I honestly think it wasn’t too shabby.

So let’s start with plot. Meet Christine (Nicole Kidman). Christine has a bit of a medical issue – every day when she wakes up, she remembers nothing of her life for the past 14 years. Every morning, her husband reassures her of their life together, but something still doesn’t click. In secret, a doctor has been helping her with her memories – which seem to lighten things up for her little by little – and what is revealed is increasingly suspenseful as you begin to distrust everyone that shows up.

Gee, I wonder where they came up with this original story… yes, anyone who has a brain could probably tell the story was inspired by 50 First Dates. It’s like the author of the story watched the movie and then said, “hey…I wonder what this movie would be like if it was a mystery/thriller instead of an Adam Sandler comedy…” – and here we are. For different reasons, I like both films and more or less consider them independent from each other – and a big part of that was the direction the film was brilliantly aiming for.

In any film, the filmmakers should want the audience to connect with the main protagonist, and I truly believe they succeeded here. As the film begins, the audience knows nothing more than Nicole Kidman’s character – and as she begins to unravel the truth through each clue, you join her in her paranoid thoughts and revelations. There’s no doubt in my mind that you are there, along for the ride. At the same time though, the film significantly suffers movie clichés. The inclusion of the clichés are a little annoying, to say the least. For one thing, the movie tends to feel predictable, and is in most areas – though it does pull some pretty impressive turns here and there regardless.

If I had to give this movie one word, I’d just say fun. It’s one of those movies that doesn’t try to be too serious. It knew what it was going for, and I think it achieved its end goals. It won’t be seen on any award show, and not everyone will rush to buy it and add it to their collection either. It was quite simply…an okay time at the movies. The actors did a fine job portraying their emotions without being too over-the-top about it, the music works alright, and the writing in general – again – works. It is what it is, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s not get fickle.

The Good:

Before I Go to Sleep works well for what it was going for – which isn’t anything too serious. It’s a good mysterious thriller that pulls the audience in alongside the hero of the story, and does a fine job telling that story.

The Bad:

It does suffer movie clichés and predictability to a certain extent, and because of that – you may think the ending of the movie specifically is a bit anticlimactic, as well as a few scenes feeling a bit overdone.  

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