Monday, May 23, 2016

Before I Go to Sleep – Tight and Entertaining Nicole Kidman Thriller

Runtime: 92 minutes
Release Date: October 31, 2014
Rating: R
Director: Rowan Joffe

Christine (Nicole Kidman) is a woman with a serious problem. Every morning, she wakes up with no memory of who she is or how she got there. Ben (Colin Firth) explains to her that he is her husband. Several years prior, she was in a car accident that left her with serious brain damage and a rare form of amnesia. She learns that they have the same conversation every morning and that she never remembers who he is or his connection to her.

Later in the day, she gets a phone call from Dr. Nash. He tells her that she started coming to him for treatment and that he believed they were close to a breakthrough. The doctor also encourages her to check in her wardrobe for a camera that she hid away. After watching the camera, she learns that she's been recording messages to herself for a long time. Though watching the messages every day does not help her memory, it does let her start working through everything that happened to her in the past.

As she works through her problems, she begins having flashes of what happened. She learns that it wasn't a car accident that caused her brain damage but rather an attack that happened in a hotel. It turns out that the man who attacked her was the same man she was cheating on Ben with and that Ben stayed with her after the affair. As Christine uncovers more information, including the fact that she no longer talks to her best friend and that she had a son, she realizes that there is more going on than she ever realized and that both Ben and Dr. Nash may have a deeper connection to her past than she assumed.

Before I Go to Sleep may not be your typical horror movie, but it's the kind of movie that makes you wonder what you would do in the same situation. How could you possibly cope with waking up every morning with no memories and finding that you're married and living with someone who is basically a complete stranger to you? By the same token, how could you ever live with someone you spent years living with and loving when she has no clue who you are?

Nicole Kidman is pretty good as Christine, but it's starting to become clear that she's had a little too much work done. There are literally moments in the film where her face and eyes do two different things. While her eyes look shocked and even scared, her face appears so frozen that you might wonder, like I did, if she can even move her eyebrows anymore. Colin Firth more than makes up for her though. He's amazing because he essentially plays two completely different characters. While he's her sweet and loving husband who stood by her and supported her for so many years, he later develops this dark and chilling persona that makes you wonder if there's something more going on or something he isn't telling her.

I occasionally like to take a break from straight horror films and throw something like a thriller or a natural disaster flick into the mix. Before I Go was a nice break from my ordinary viewing habits.

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