2016-03-18 09:05

What it's about:

Remember is the contemporary story of Zev, who discovers that the Nazi guard who murdered his family some 70 years ago is living in the United States under an assumed identity. Despite the obvious challenges, Zev sets out on a solitary mission to find the guilty man and deliver long-delayed justice with his own trembling hand. What follows is a remarkable cross-continent road-trip with unexpected consequences.

What we thought:

A Canadian/German partnership, Remember casts a light on the last recollections of a generation that will soon belong to the history books – those that lived through World War II, especially those that survived the Jewish concentration camps of the Nazi regime. Although an intriguing concept, the film struggles to keep its subject matter interesting.

The story follows a senile Holocaust survivor living out his days at a funeral home until he decides, with the help of his fellow Jewish friend, to embark on a journey of revenge against Nazi officers who slipped past the radar and settled in North America.

Christopher Plummer’s Sound of Music days may be a distant memory, but at the age of 86 the man still knows how to play the game, and Remember is one of his finest emotionally vulnerable performances yet. The incredible pity that he elicits from his spectators is an incredible talent, as his realistic representation of someone losing their touch with reality really hits it home on the fragility of the human mind.

Despite Plummer’s outstanding performance, the unreliability of the main character’s agency makes for a double-edged sword, as it points to a very predictable plot twist. The film becomes extremely sentimental in some parts that make you want to shove the plot along for the sake of getting to the end, and when you finally get there you are quite disheartened that it ended exactly like you thought it would. 

This was further exasperated by an unnecessary explanation how everything came together at the end. It can be so annoying when you know a movie could have been so much better if they just stopped a scene earlier, but instead they underestimate the audience’s deductive reasoning and explain everything step by step, tarnishing the feeling you come away with after the end credits roll.

Remember is a slow movie for those who can really get into the metaphorical allusions of the script and perhaps have some family history connected to the Nazi’s persecution of Jews, but it lacks a mainstream appeal. If ever there was a film to take your grandparents to, this is it. 

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