REMINISCENCE (2021) – My rating: 8/10

Reminiscence is a neo-noir science fiction thriller and love story, written and directed by Lisa Joy, in her feature directorial debut. Joy also produces alongside her husband and creative partner Jonathan Nolan.  The film was released by Warner Bros. Pictures and follows a businessman and his partner who makes a living by using a unique device that helps their clients to retrieve and relive their memories for various practical reasons. I’m not sure what attracted me to this movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, as it appears to be different from the usual plots.

In the near future, climate change has caused the sea level to rise and flood Miami. Extreme daytime temperatures have forced most of the population to function at night. A man named Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) along with his female business partner Emily “Watts” Sanders (Thandiwe Newton), operates a business where people can come and relax by lying in a device and connecting to electrodes that enable them to relive or discover forgotten memories.  They are placed into a comatose state of mind, which is revealed on-screen so that Nick can review and pinpoint the client’s issue.  In this futuristic film, Miami has sunk significantly and extreme daytime heat has caused people to stay in their homes unless they absolutely need to come out.

Reminiscence focus is on a walk-in client Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) who can’t remember where she put her keys.  She’s beautiful and sexy and Nick becomes obsessed with Mae and her memories, which reveal that she is a nightclub singer with a complicated and unsavory lifestyle and past.  While viewing Mae’s memories, she happens to sing Nick’s favorite song, which only aided in drawing Nick closer to her. Eventually, Nick and Mae begin a relationship, although Watts distrusts her. Months later, Mae has disappeared without a word. Hoping to find a clue to her whereabouts, Nick spends hours repeatedly reliving his memories of their relationship, a dangerous practice that could forever trap him in the memory.

Reminiscence is a revetting tale of danger, love, deceit, determination, mystery, and heartbreak, and I’m just getting started. There are so many twists in this story, it’s hard to keep up.  I found Reminiscence exciting and very different from what’s being offered lately. Hugh Jackman and Thandiwe Newton’s performances were brilliantly executed.  Rebecca Ferguson was absolutely tantalizing.  Her display of innocence and desperation was the right combination of a damsel in distress to cause any man to take notice.  The ending was so unpredictable, I didn’t mind not being able to reconcile my feelings towards what I thought was unjust.

As of September 17, 2021, Reminiscence has grossed $3.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $14.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $18.7 million. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 37% based on 180 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: “Although Reminiscence isn’t lacking narrative ambition, its uncertain blend of sci-fi action and noir thriller mostly provokes memories of better films.”  Reminiscence is currently streaming on HBO Max the same day it opens in theaters. I recommend Reminiscence to those who like a good sci-fi mystery — Check It Out!


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