Review: AMNESIAC

amnesA good mystery film is hard to come by these days. If you’ve seen one, then you’ve seen them all at this point, and it takes an interesting approach to keep your viewers guessing what’s really happening until the film’s end. Luckily, the Michael Polish-helmed AMNESIAC is just that kind of film. A mystery thriller that is full of twists and turns, leaving you shocked and impressed when the film’s puzzle pieces come together.

AMNESIAC‘s success as a solid thriller, is in parts due to two great performances from Kate Bosworth and Wes Bentley and a great script from writers Mike Le (DARK SUMMER) and Amy Kolquist. The story, which sees a man (Bentley) waking up from a car crash that has left him with a bad case of amnesia. He’s taken care of in a house he’s not familiar with by a woman (Bosworth) that says that she’s his wife and that their life is a good one. Everything is a alien to the man, and he only remembers fragments of what happened, fragments that include a young girl in the back seat calling out to “Daddy”. While everything seems fine, and the man assumes that everything the woman says is how things were prior to the crash, little by little, he begins to have flashbacks to what happened, and begins to suspect the woman of medicating him and of being a complete danger to him.

While that angle in film has been done before, what makes the film so enjoyable is how believable both Bentley and Bosworth are, with Bentley giving a great performances as the man struggling to remember who he is and who his wife is, or if she even IS his wife. Bosworth is chillingly calm as the woman, and there’s a timeless quality to her performance and even appearance, one that seems like she stepped out another era. Even when it’s revealed early on that the woman is drugging the man to keep him clouded and uncertain, she remains soft spoken and almost unemotional. With each layer of the woman that is peeled away, we’re given small glimpses of who she is, what she wants and what she’s willing to do to get it.

AMNESIAC is a great film to sit down and watch, while you do your best to guess where the film is going, who’s the villain, and which twist will happen next. It’s a film that will leave your mouth wide open when the final reveal happens, and it makes the film’s journey that much more entertaining. It’s a well written, directed and acted film, all elements that makes its core mystery one to latch onto, making you wonder what the woman’s next step will be and whether or not the man will get out of the situation with any memory or get out at all. Its MISERY meets MEMENTO approach to storytelling is a good one, and the film is without a single weak performance.  A fun mystery/thriller to throw on and see if you can guess its twists before your friends can, AMNESIAC is the perfect kind of puzzle to watch slowly be put together.