BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP | MOVIE REVIEW

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP looks like a slick psychological thriller. I love everyone’s eyes in the below poster, those coloured contacts are awesome, and I have gotten over my “I hate Kidman” phase, I am actually feeling a bit sorry for her of late, she is talented and has fallen from the A-lister list – I am very keen on seeing this one :). What a freaking awesome cast, Kidman, Firth and Strong – what could go wrong? Find out Kernel Kerryn’s thoughts below.  BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP is out tomorrow, Thursday 16th October from Studio Canal. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 92mins. Enjoy Kerryn’s review…..all the best…..JK.

 

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY KERRYN WILLIAMS

Okay so here it goes… Smart, dazzling and intriguing are not words that I would commonly use to describe even the very best luxury sedan money can buy. However, if you think of a luxury car there are a few standards that come to mind that uniquely sets itself apart from the everyday standard family car like, you know; leather seats, automatic everything, robotic active hyper drive or whatever they call things these days. The point is that every so often someone out there tries to replicate these luxury brands by using very clever marketing and verbose stylisation and the end result usually is a poor attempt at the real thing. Going into this film I knew that it would have to sell me straight away or things were going to be really tedious for the next 92 minutes, something stylish and sophisticated.

Slapped across the promotional posters are two huge names (with Oscars-a-piece) and a third that’s rising very quickly in quality; that is Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong respectively. Adapted from one of the UK’s top selling crime novels and directed by THE AMERICAN writer, Rowan Joffe, this had a lot of promise. However it had to deliver something different otherwise it’s just another crime thriller, which if done right can be a box office success as we have seen recently.

 

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP MOVIE IMAGE
BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | BEN AND CHRISTINE LUCAS (COLIN FIRTH AND NICOLE KIDMAN)

 

We start to establish that Christine Lucas (Kidman) has previously suffered a traumatic violent accident that has seemingly left her without the ability to remember or retain anything for more than a day, she wakes up and everything is foreign to her. The house she lives in, her husband Ben (Firth) to who she is will all be forgotten the next morning. A concept that really is not all that different to most romance movies that seem to hit theatres every February. The difference being this time is that something is not quite right, she can’t remember her accident, she can’t remember if she has any friends and she can’t remember who she can trust, even her dearly beloved husband for that matter.

Christine soon discovers that she has been seeking help discretely from psychologist Dr Nash (Strong) who rings her each day to remind her about a video diary she has been keeping stowed away for therapy. Within the memory of the camera secrets and clues begin to unfold that suggest something foul and more sinister is at play. As we discover the fragments of Christine’s past there are some wonderful tones brought through the film that gave me the hope that maybe, just maybe, this won’t be so cliché, and perhaps make the hair on my arms stand on end.

The elements of a superb head-bending thriller are all at the fingertips of what could’ve been an absolute winner but the incredulous manner in which it is handled leaves it wilting in the pot. The filmmaker lends to a few sleight of hand parlour tricks that suggest perhaps in the hands of someone a little more comfortable with hard edged crime thrillers this could have flourished.

 

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP MOVIE IMAGE
BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CHRISTINE LUCAS (NICOLE KIDMAN) AND DR. NASH (MARK STRONG)

 

Kidman delivers a fairly strong performance for a character so damaged and without a sense of belonging; I can only imagine how frustrating it would have been to not know anything about her (Christine’s) past as a character. Mark Strong commands the nod of the hat with a calming enigmatic Dr Nash that provides the audience with a sense of stability and structure. However for me the letdown was with Colin Firth who does create a rather tortured soul in Ben Lucas dealing with the daily task of explaining to his wife he is her husband and they are happily married, I just felt this was miscast. Firth has a great screen gravitas and is a proven actor but something didn’t sit right, and I would’ve preferred to see someone like Kenneth Branagh (comparing his performance in GINGERBREAD MAN) to play the undulating worn down husband fighting the demons of a fractured relationship.

In the end I felt a bit like nothing had a sense of belonging, the world laid forth to us as an audience was irrelevant and unestablished. What happened to Christine could also have been just as important as the mysterious character the memories drew us towards but it misses that opportunity which is a bit of a shame.

Dark and unforgiving BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP has some taut cinematic moments and if anything only narrowly misses the mark of what could have been another smart thriller.

 

3 Pops