Based on the novel by S.J. Watson Before I Go To Sleep is a psychological thriller that hits NZ screens this week. The film is directed by Rowan Joffe and stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.
Now the pairing of Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth is an interesting one because despite both their acting chops both can come across dour on the best of days. Kidman plays Christine, the wife of Ben Lucas (Firth) who cares for her after suffering severe head injuries. Due to her injuries, Christine’s mind cannot store memories for more than a day, that is, she wakes up every morning thinking she is back in her twenties and freshly married. Ben attempts to carry on a normal life whilst every morning explaining to his wife of her tragic circumstances (think of a very serious version of 50 First Dates). Christine then receives a phone call from Dr. Nash, a doctor who upon meeting with Christine encourages her to video all she remembers in the day before she goes to sleep.
Without giving to much of the story away Christine begins to make some startling discoveries as she continues to follow the instructions of Dr. Nash, piece by piece she begins to learn the truth behind her injuries luring the audience into the climactic ending that is expected of this kind of genre.
Before I Go To Sleep is not a bad film, but may seem a little watered down for those thriller junkies who like an unpredictable ending. Like most films that are based on novels, Before I Go To Sleep fails to capture the intricacies that are involved in such a mind bending plot, and fails to capitalise on the twists and turns that would have made the book a great read.
For those film buffs out there, this was the last film to be shot on Fuji 35mm film stock which to some would be very interesting information. Technicalities aside, this film has a solid storyline but does not offer enough to push the boundaries of the psychological thriller.
Before I Go To Sleep is out in NZ Cinemas now
Reviewed by Ben Blackman