film review

Review | Before I go to Sleep – 2014

After I saw the trailer for Before I go to Sleep, I was both interested as I was confused. The trailer kept the story quite mysterious so I didn’t have a good impression on how the story would develop. When I saw the film was on Netflix, I gave it a shot. Also because of the good actors in it.

So the film is about a married woman – Christine – who had a terrible accident a few years ago. Since then she wakes up every day, remembering nothing of her past. Everyday she has to relearn who she is and who she’s married with. Her husband Mike has made some efforts to help her, by posting all kind of post-its and pictures in the house. We don’t know how long this is Christine’s life, but the film starts when she already knows a bit more about this mysterious situation. Shortly after we jump back in time when Christine meets Dr. Nash for the first time. Together they try to find out what happened to her and who is responsible. Because of doctor Nash, Christine starts making a video diary which she watches every morning. Before i go to sleep

The reason why I wanted to see this film in the first place was – also because of the interesting synopsis – because of the great actors. Nicole Kidman plays Christine who desperately wants to find out who she is, who the guy is she’s living with and what in the name has happened to her? With every new thing she learns, her suspicion towards a certain person grows stronger. She’s very cautious though who to accuse and sometimes she – and the viewer – doesn’t know who to trust anymore. “Trust no one”. Every time you think someone else has done something to her. Also because you just don’t want a certain person to be the bad guy. Doctor Nash is played by Mark Strong. He’s the doctor who wants to help Christine with her memory loss. It looks like he is a good person, but like I said, the tone of the film is quite mysterious and you can’t really trust anyone. The last interesting actor is Colin Firth, who plays the husband Mike. He’s always the good guy in films and therefore you have certain thoughts about him. You want to trust him, but can you?

At first I would like to say that Before I go to Sleep is not bad, but it’s also not that great. The film is really mysterious which can be good sometimes, but in this case the mysterious part is getting too long. It would be more interesting if we saw a bit more about the actual event and a bit more of an explanation. In the end everything will be clear, but in my opinion the moment when Christine finally finds out what happened to her, why and by who, should have a better build-up. But this is not something we can blame on the actors, who all did a good job! Christine is most of the time very scared but also determined to find what has happened to her. When doctor Nash calls her and offers his help, Christine takes his help with both hands. But where does this doctor come from and why does he wants to help her in the first place? This is a question I didn’t get an answer to, and that’s why this doctor is someone who we can or can not trust. Because of this he also stays a mysterious and vague person. An other very vague person is Claire, Christine’s good friend. She has some interesting information for Christine, but there also was something about a phone call – which won’t get an explanation – which makes me question her.

before i go to sleep christine

Colin Firth really looks like the proper husband with the heart on the right place. Mike is there for Christine and helps her day in and day out with her memory loss. The film starts on Mike and Christine’s anniversary day and Mike says he wants to take Christine to a nice place. When Mike is off to work, doctor Nash calls for Christine – just like any other day. From this point, we go back in time – like I mentioned before – to the exact moment of Nash and Christine’s first encounter. The good thing is that during the film we are waiting for the moment Mike and Christine are taking of to that special place. But we have to wait for this moment till the flashbacks and the present ‘meet’. Then the film finally comes to its climax and the mystery is solved. This part of the film was kind of thrilling but it was also a bit of an anti-climax. I think I expected more to see or that the attack on Christine was part of something bigger. All though someone turns into a creepy psychopath!

Before I go to Sleep is definitely a mysterious and – in the end – also a thrilling film. The actors did an amazing job by constantly putting the viewers on the wrong track. Who can we trust and who not? Who’s telling the truth about himself? It’s a bit of a shame though that there are only two men who we can put on our list of suspects. The end of the film was for me not that satisfying. I mean now everything is clear for Christine, does that also means that she keeps her memory after she wakes up? And what about that mysterious child and her friend Claire? The film might be a bit too mysterious which makes it sometimes a bit vague. For everyone who thinks this is an interesting film – which it is – I recommend to read the book, written by S.J. Watson from 2011, since books are often better than the film. Next time I’m in the library I will look for it!


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