Shrouded in mystery and wrapped in deceit, Before I Go to Sleep is a decent psychological thriller. Based on a novel it features an incredible story that feels very familiar. When you have a very specific subject, like short-term memory loss, you’re treading on a very beaten path established by so many eighties thrillers. The first one that comes to mind is Shattered. And I don’t I need to talk to you about all those made-for-TV movies.
Say what you want about Nicole Kidman, but she looked fuckin’ thirty in this movie! As soon as I see Colin Firth in any movie, I immediately think that I’m about to watch another British old-school romance. Much like Pride and Prejudice and the rest of “those movies”. Luckily, Mark Strong gave the crew a bit of street cred, so eventually, this turned out to be a decent who-done-it thriller. And if you’re looking for something more along those lines check out The Vow starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.
After a vicious attack, Christine suffered a brain injury that prevents her from storing short-term memories and turning them into long-term memories. This means that she’s waking up every day without any knowledge of the things she has done the last day. This goes on for years. However, one faithful day, Christine remembers something…
Twisting and turning, we are put in the same position as Christine in the movie, not knowing much and having trouble holding on to anything. At times too fragmented and too intense, Before I Go to Sleep is a movie that you should see from the front seat. Possibly Christine’s seat, because if you start to test the premises and the story, it slowly starts to dissolve.
The memory loss thing helps with that because you have all these concepts to think about, but ultimately this is nowhere near Memento or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. However, if you’re looking for something mildly entertaining, Before I Go to Sleep will do just fine. It reminded me of another forgettable psychological thriller, Faces in the Crowd. Starring Milla Jovovich it follows a woman who cannot remember faces.
Director: Rowan Joffe
Writer: Rowan Joffe, S.J. Watson
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Ben Crompton, Adam Levy, Anne-Marie Duff
Fun Facts: In the novel Christine’s diary is a journal and in the movie it’s a video journal.