I hadn’t seen a single trailer or even a poster for ‘Remainder’ but it popped up on my local independent cinema website. With a short synopsis, ‘Omer Fast’s debut feature follows a young man (Tom Sturridge) who tries to reconstruct his past out of fragmented memories.’ I thought it could be a little like ‘Memento’ or ‘The Machinist’ which of course meant I had to check it out!
The film starts well as it launches us right into the narrative and lays a lot of important foundations for what is to come. However, after this initial opening things do slow right down. The narrative stays the same for quite a long time. The film never becomes boring but it does venture dangerously close. At times the film felt like it could have been from the horror genre, the tension present in many scenes was excellent and did help to engage the audience. This tension was probably the only thing that kept the film from boring its viewers. Things do very slowly begin to piece together and when the narrative finally gets into full swing more entertainment is the result. The finale to the film is good and plays nicely off the rest of the film and the build up to this moment. However, there was a lot of potential to improve this ending. The viewer is possibly told too much at this stage and this robs the film of some of the impact it could have had, nonetheless what the film builds to is good.
I’ve no doubt that this narrative will frustrate people and there could very well be a sense of ‘is that it?’ at the end of the film. You’ll know yourself if these kind of films do it for you or not so that is definitely something to consider if you are debating about buying a ticket. The cast all do a good job too, Tom Sturridge carries the majority of the film on his more than capable shoulders and does really well in his role. Alongside him the other main cast members are Cush Jumbo, Ed Speelers and Arsher Ali. Whilst they have comparably smaller roles than Sturridge they also do well and are convincing additions to the story. There is no doubt that this film has been well made technically, many scenes highlight the directors attention to detail. Where it falls down for me is in it’s writing. The bulk of the film just isn’t interesting enough.
There are many elements to ‘Remainder’ which deserve praise, it looks great, has some brilliant moments of tension and the director has got the most from his cast. It’s a shame that the mid section of the film just can’t quite engage the audience in the way it could do. The film does improve thanks to its finale but even this had potential to create a more entertaining experience for the audience and as a result ‘Remainder’ may well leave you wanting more.
Rating – 6/10
Question: What is your favourite film featuring memory loss?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.