Are we the sum of our memories? And if so, do we have an inherent dilemma because our memories are inevitably tainted and altered by events that happen subsequent to any given point in our lives? Those are the key questions underlying the indie sci-fi thriller ‘Rememory,’ and they’re interesting to consider. More provocative, however, is that a device that lets you relive memories also becomes a way to travel in time, and that’s really the heart of this surprisingly engaging film.
Scientist Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan) has invented a device that lets you record your memories and then relive them, free of the taint of subsequent events and influences. Sounds like a great idea, but there are profound implications, and people involved in the tests learn that painful memories dim and loving memories grow more important for a reason: reliving bad experiences renews the pain, horror and upset.
In particular, young ne’er do well Todd (Anton Yelchin) has a memory he’d blocked get restored, to his torment. He insists that Dunn exorcise that particular memory, but the machine doesn’t work that way. Then Dunn is found murdered. Did Todd do it in a fit of rage? Or did local art gallery owner Wendy (Evelyne Brochu) commit the crime as she shows up on surveillance tapes.
Pulled into the mystery is the troubled architectural model maker Sam Bloom (Peter Dinklage), who keeps reliving the horror of being with his brother Dash (Matt Ellis) when they were involved in a car crash and Dash died. Could the Rememory machine help Sam go back and relive the accident and thereby extract clues that he otherwise can’t seem to quite remember?
There are two films that ‘Rememory’ owes a debt to: ‘Brainstorm’ and ‘Memento.’ In different ways, both have influenced the storyline, the former for the concept of a thought recording and playback device – and the massive unintended consequences it produces — and the latter for its ingeniously unveiled timeline. Like ‘Memento”s oddly unspooled storyline, Sam’s accident replays keep offering up more and more clues as to what transpired that fateful night.
I quite enjoyed ‘Rememory’ and suggest you check it out. Better yet, it’s actually free to watch on Google Play Movies if you have access to that service. If not, it’s in very limited theater release currently. I’m sure you’ll remember to thank me later. If you remember what it is you wanted to remember in the first place…