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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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‘Reminiscence,’ unique idea turned bland

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Photo by via imdb.com

The film “Reminiscence” was released Friday, Aug. 20 in theaters and available for streaming on HBO Max. 

Directed by Lisa Joy, “Reminiscence” starring Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson was released on Aug. 20. The film is set in apocalyptic Miami and follows Jackman as Nick Bannister searching for his lost love Mae, played by Ferguson. As the world’s conditions worsen by means of extreme heat and rising waters, night turns to day, and Bannister uses his occupation as a memory private investigator that takes clients back in time to search for Mae. 

Cinematographer Paul Cameron conveys tone through neutral and dark colors. Everything is presented as cold, lost and empty. The majority of the scenes include excessive amounts of water because of the state the world is in. This gives a sense of hopelessness because the characters continue to ignore the world’s conditions and go on with their lives. The use of boats as a casual means of travel was a small detail that really helps audiences grasp the desperation of humanity. Placing subtle shadows throughout the film created a sense of unease that compliments the film’s overall tone. 

Mae’s wardrobe provides the only pops of color in the film. These flashes are hard to miss when they appear on screen. Mae’s red dress in the first scene particularly captures the eye. The use of color through Mae’s wardrobe and sunlight in scenes featuring Bannister and Mae together make for warm visuals that brighten the mood from time to time while bringing more entertainment value to the screen. 

Bannister’s occupation is one of the most exciting parts of “Reminiscence.” The entire setup for how he dives into memories through what was initially made as an interrogation technique makes for one of the more interesting concepts brought up in the film. This use of memories allows the film to break from the typical non-linear timeline. The film’s high points include the clues to how Bannister finds Mae, but they aren’t enough to pull the story full circle from an entertainment standpoint. The plot throughout the film has its low points that feel drawn out, and the overuse of narration also made the film feel reliant on Jackman’s voice to explain the story. At times this narration is expected, but at others it was overbearing. 

This film feels like it has taken concepts from “Memento,” directed by Christopher Nolan, but didn’t quite hit the same mark when it came to detail. The setting of Joy’s film is captivating enough, but there should have been more focus on the world around the characters and their lives. In the film, most of the characters bring up the topic of “the war,” and even though it is not shown, the figures have all clearly been damaged by it. The film includes memories from the past, and it would have been more impactful if memories from the war were integrated into the storyline. 
There isn’t much action. Instead, the film focuses on the corrupt city full of drugs, crime and horrible people. There are only four action scenes throughout the entire film, and the film desperately needed more 

There is little character development for Bannister, and it is all done through his job. Thandiwe Newton’s character Emily has the best development compared to all of the others, breaking the typical female mold in this film, and presents herself stronger than the lead male character by becoming his “hero.” Jackman and Ferguson had great chemistry when co-starring in “The Greatest Showman,” and it’s nice to see a film completely focus on these two actors working well together. 

The film’s concept was unique and appealing but needed more detail within specific areas throughout the film. “Reminiscence” has great qualities, but it was spread too thin when it came to nuance in the storyline. 
 

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