Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin
Director: Allen Coulter
Writer(s): Will Fetters
Cinematography: Jonathan Freeman
Original Score: Marcelo Zarvos
Running Time: 113 Mins.
There is an unwritten rule that says, should you star in a genre franchise you must balance turn’s in said franchise with smaller more intimate dramatic roles, witness Daniel Craig in Flashbacks of a Fool, Tobey Maguire in Seabiscuit, Daniel Radcliffe in December Boys and Pierce Brosnan in Evelyn (who co-stars here incidentally). Often these roles are met with mixed reaction, suggesting the actor is trying a little too hard to prove he, or she, is a capable of “serious” roles.
In an obvious attempt to prove such a point is Robert Pattinson out to shirk that stereotype of the angst-ridden vampire of The Twilight Saga’s Edward. Odd then, that his turn as Tyler Hawkin’s in Remember Me is even more angst ridden albeit in a much more believable and enjoyable way, proving that the guy can, in fact, act up a storm when given a meaty script to wrangle with, and one that requires more than mere moping and glaring into the middle distance.
Teetering between family drama and love story Allen Coulter (Hollywoodland) offers further proof of his worth as a director, pacing in this type of film is hugely important as it is the kind of story than can at once become heavy-handed and slow to a snail’s pace in fits and bursts. Avoiding both pitfalls is quite some feat and the resulting film deserves credit for that alone, however there is a great deal more to be merited proving to be outstanding in both performance and story as it deliver’s a believable and hugely enjoyable film but most importantly one that will, inevitably because of its ending alone, stay with you long after you leave.
Many critics are bemoaning the heavy-handed nature they deem the film’s final furlong to be dealing the audience, amidst claims that it is “unneccessary”, rubbish I say to remove the ending and the message that comes with it would be like robbing Saving Private Ryan of its D-Day scene or Bad Lieutenant of its New Orleans setting, simply because a historical event is important and effecting does not mean it shouldn’t be wound into a story in an appropriate way whether it be for dramatic effct or not, indeed why watch a film if you do not wish to be moved by experiences, fictitious or not, that you can empathise with on some level.
At the heart of the story are two of Hollywood’s current crop Lost‘s Emilie de Ravin and the aforementioned Pattinson on whom the film is largely being sold, and with good reason, Pattinson is at the heart of this film and he commands the screen well with parallel’s between he and James Dean extending beyond the looks. The guy can act and very well at that, yes he is playing a troubled youngster much like his Twilight character but this is a much more layered performance with a script that allows him room to build beyond troubled seasoning his character with wry humour and a hugely likeable streak developed between Tyler and his sister showing a protective streak that you can easily empathise with.
The slow build of the romance is one of the most realistic you are likely to catch onscreen of recent years and puts such films as Dear John to shame, but there is so much more than a love story to embrace here and I would defy you to feel touched on some level if not at the romance, then in the father/son relationship, which sees both Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan excel in supporting roles, or the compelling story that never goes quite where you expect, in the best and most memorable way.
Remember Me is a superbly acted and directed study of life, family and love, Pattinson proves what we all expected, that the guy can indeed act, but its the story and emotional sweep that will draw you in and leave u with an experience that reaches far beyond the cinema auditorium.