31 Days of Reviews: Amnesiac (2015)

A man wakes up from a coma with no idea where or who he is. His wife takes care of him in their huge, barely furnished home, but after a while the man starts to wonder if this woman is really his wife.

The plot for Amnesiac is nothing new. It’s been done time and time again. Someone wakes up from a coma with no memory of their past, only to be told fiction as if it were truth. This film doesn’t stray too far from this idea, while it does have some slight differences.

Amnesiac stars Kate Bosworth and Wes Bentley. While I’m normally not a big fan of Bosworth, I thought she actually looked the part of a cold, calculated character. Bentley on the other hand, I am a fan of. He brings an interesting presence to pretty much everything I see him in. Within this film, he doesn’t get to really portray a lot because his character can’t remember who he is. There’s not too much you can do other than express confusion when playing someone with amnesia. Overall, the best way to describe the acting in this movie is either “subdued” or just plain “dull”.

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The best thing I can probably say about Amnesiac is that it’s beautifully shot. The shots are really wonderful, and the set design is a nice mix of old and new. Everything concerning Bosworth’s character seems to be from the 1950s or 60s, but the movie is obviously set in modern times. If not for the shots that show the mixture of Bosworth interacting with the outside world, you could easily believe it was a period piece.

The whole production of the film is stunning. It just has a fantastic look to it. That was probably my favorite aspect. It’s simple and elegant. The actors’ subdued performances and the lack of in-your-face gore works okay with it all. If only the story was enough to keep people interested enough to see all of these things.

If I had to give a downfall for Amnesiac, it would be the story. That’s not because it’s bad, per se. It’s just not new. Honestly, it feels like Misery. Even when things start to escalate, it doesn’t draw you in. Maybe this is due to the subdued/dull way that the actors deliver their lines. Maybe it’s because of the pacing of the story. Maybe it’s just the story itself. It could be a variety of things, but in the end, the movie is forgettable.

That’s quite unfortunate really because, as I mentioned earlier, the look of the film is really nice. It’s very stylized. There are a lot of subtle visual cues throughout that you miss when the story isn’t keeping your attention. I also mentioned earlier that the narrative strays a bit from the norm when it comes to amnesia stories, and the art of this can be lost as well.

Typically in these amnesia stories, it is revealed in the end that the person who’s been feeding all of this information to the character has been lying. None of it is true. In Amnesiac though, it might have been. You reach a point in the story, like with most amnesia stories, where you think the wife isn’t really his wife, and she’s just got bad intentions for the man. In the end though, was everything she said true? Rather than outright lying, Bosworth’s character makes a point of not really saying anything at all. This makes the ending just a little bit intriguing.

Overall, I probably wouldn’t recommend this one, but if you happen to be interested in watching Amnesiac, it is currently available on Netflix streaming. Check out the trailer below.

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