Before I Go to Sleep (15)

Imagine waking up every morning and having no recollection of the past 20 years. For Christine Lucas this is her reality.

Before I Go to Sleep is a dark psychological thriller based on the worldwide best-selling novel by S.J. Watson.

As a result of a terrible accident in her past Christine (Nicole Kidman) wakes up every day with no memory of the past 20 years of her life – until one day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her…

Christine has autograde amnesia and so her life is in the hands of her husband Ben (Colin Firth). Each morning he has the heartbreaking task of making her remember him and their life together.

Unbeknown to her husband Christine has secretly been treated by neuropsychologist Dr. Nash (Mark Strong) in an attempt to unravel the details of her horrific accident. She slowly starts to unearth her past, and discovers that there may be no one around her that she can trust.

This cleverly shot movie grabs your attention from the opening scene. There are elements of Hitchcock in its DNA. The first half of the movie builds the tension, and as the mystery unfolds you are kept guessing.

Christine’s amnesia is used perfectly as a narrative device. You get more drawn into the thriller as information is relayed to Christine through a visual diary on a digital camera.

As the story progresses, the mystery deepens and the storyline becomes increasingly confusing. Director Rowan Joffe has thrown a few red herrings in there for good measure.

Will Christine remember what happened to her before it’s too late?

Kidman is perfect as the fragile Christine, she’s as in the dark as the audience to what’s going on, effectively resetting her character with nearly every scene.

Firth’s performance is chilling, playing totally against type as the mysterious Ben. There is a sense of unease that follows him around, and you get a glimpse of something darker just resting underneath his smooth demeanour.

I’m disappointed to say that Mark Strong is slightly wasted as Dr. Nash. He’s merely a pawn in this puzzling thriller.

Before I Go to Sleep is a powerfully dark and twisted psychological thriller. But I’m just not sure it’s a memorable one.

By Ruth Walker
★★★☆☆

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