Remember Me – Why continuity matters

What starts as an average romantic flick, finishes as a copout of epic proportions.

*SPOILER WARNING* – I’ll be spoiling the plot even more than usual!

So, ‘Remember Me’. It feels like a weird film to talk about, given that for 95% of its run-time, it appears as little more than a run-of-the-mill drama, complete with romance and family trouble. Nonetheless, I had to talk about it. Why? Simply for containing one of the most bizarre and out of place endings I’ve ever come across. 

It’s the story of Tyler Hawkins (Robert Pattinson) who has a difficult relationship with his dad Charles (Pierce Brosnan), due to his workaholic nature. Tyler meets and quickly falls for a girl named Ally (Emilie de Ravin). The plot follows exactly as you’d expect; Tyler and Ally fall in love, Tyler and Charles manage to find mutual respect for each other and rekindle their damaged relationship. 

Copyright IMDb

It’s basically a fine film – nothing particularly special happens but then again, I never exactly found it excruciating. Robert Pattinson is okay (though his character can be pretty annoying at times, yet it doesn’t feel intentional). The plot itself feels paper thin and certainly doesn’t justify a run-time of 113 minutes. It’s not the length of scenes, but rather the scenes themselves, with many feeling wholly dispensable. If nothing else, then ‘Remember Me’ can at least partially rely on the chemistry between the leads, with Pattinson and de Ravin playing off each other pretty well.

As the film draws to a close, Tyler’s relationship with his dad begins to thaw as he sees him in a new light, realising that he does care about his family after all, but maybe finds it difficult to show it whilst feeling the responsibility of providing his family with financial stability.  Whilst all this was taking place, all I could wonder was whether this lovely niceness would be quickly contrasted by something just a little more tragic? And I was right, just not in the way I imagined.

So, the ending I keep alluding to. As Tyler and Charles begin to patch things up, Tyler waits for his dad in his office. We then see his sister in school, and her teacher writes a date on the blackboard. September 11th, 2001. Cut back to Tyler, as the camera slowly zooms out of the office he’s waiting in and we realise that the office is contained within the World Trade Centre. You can probably work out the rest. We don’t see the crash itself but rather the aftermath, with Tyler being one of the victims. Honestly, what? Where the fuck did that come from? I was appalled by this final twist – it felt like one last, desperate attempt to get some sort of emotional response from the audience. Maybe the writers felt that the previous 100 minutes lacked the requisite punch to provoke this kind of response so drew on an event which so many Americans (and people in general) feel such strong emotions towards. 

Copyright Stereogum

I thought that perhaps this ending possessed a deeper meaning which I was simply oblivious to? I came up with a few theories, though all of these seemed to be stretching the rope of credibility to absolute breaking point. I thought that the title itself may have been a clue. The question then, is who are we supposed to be remembering? Tyler seems like the obvious answer, but if that’s the case then its weak to say the least. Maybe it’s just a direct reference to remembering the victims of 9/11. Again, this feels like giving the middle finger to the audience as it bears no relation to the rest of the film. Or maybe, we’re supposed to remember the value of family. Charles wasn’t in his office because he chose to take his daughter to school that day. So did his newfound dedication to family save him? But then, Tyler was in that same office and consequently killed because of his unending love for his sister so this all seems rather vague and inconclusive.

Either way, regardless of the intended meaning (if there actually was one), ‘Remember Me’ quickly transitions from a lighthearted flick to a clusterfuck; a cacophonic symphony. It doesn’t tie in with the prior plot and feels like a complete copout – as though the writers dithered on how to end it and eventually landed on this out of the blue.

(4/10)

And happy new year everyone!

Featured Image Copyright Empire

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