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Remember (2016) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 24 December 2015

 

Jay´s Review

Will I ever get tired of watching Christopher Plummer? This time he is a man who suffers from senile dementia but he sets out to find the former Nazis who killed his family (and the family of another man in the same senior facility) at a long-ago concentration camp. The movie opens with him awakening and calling for his wife. Alarmed, he leaves his room and finds himself in some sort of quasi-medical facility. One of the women who works there has to tell him that his wife died two weeks earlier.

With a wonderfully unpredictable script by Benjamin August ("Class Rank") and cleverly directed by Atom Egoyan ("The Captive"), we are on a hero's journey that goes from gently humorous to white-knuckle tense.  The people he encounters are consistently helpful and kind. The children in this one are particularly good: smart, polite and considerate.

The cast:

  • * Christopher Plummer ("Elsa & Fred") Zev Gutman is a survivor of Auschwitz (with the tattoo to prove it). Max has given him a set of instructions, unlimited funds, transportation and hotel reservations and all the help necessary to fulfill his mission. He forgets at times what he is about, but every time he re-reads Max's letter, he gets back on track. We are pulling for him all the way.
  • * Martin Landow ("Entourage") Max Rosenbaum never forgets his mission - revenge - and he won't let Zev forget his promise. Health failing, he is restricted to his wheelchair and his room, but he has his telephone and ample funds, powerful tools.
  • * Henry Czerny ("Revenge") Zev's son Charles is concerned about his father's dementia, but he's furious when Dad goes missing from that home for seniors.
  • * Bruno Ganz ("Vitus") Rudy Kurlander #1 is the first person Zev contacts. I can't tell you about it because it would be a spoiler.
  • * Dean Norris ("Secret in Their Eyes") Sheriff John Kurlander has lived all his years in the United States. The fellow Zev seeks is his father. Another sure-fire spoiler, so I can't say more.
  • * Jürgen Prochnow ("Hitman: Agent 47") Rudy Kurlander #4 is happy to see Zev. That's all I can say... you know...

This is an impossible review to write because I would be spilling the beans, no matter what I say about most of these characters. As I said, this script is unique and unpredictable. Plummer is flawless, with a slight hint of a German accent, the right amount of missing hair, and confused eyes. We feel his anxiety in the passenger bus, at Customs, with that barking watchdog, and amid a family crisis at that mountain retreat. Like him, we loved the children.

The movie is R-rated (threatened violence and understanding concentration camps), so expect some tension, very little profanity, no blowie uppie stuff and limited gun play. Our screening audience was vocal and excited as we exited the theater. This one is outstanding.

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