Reminiscence Combines Styles To Create An Modern Classic

Writer-Director Lisa Joy created a neo-noir film set in a very probable, future Miami. Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) runs the Reminiscence machine. He used it during the war as an interrogating measure. When the war was over, the machine was repurposed to help people relive key moments in their lives. On occasion, the D.A.’s office would use Bannister’s machine to get a true record for their testimony. He also has clients that want to relive moments with a loved one long passed.

Nick has help from his only assistant, Watts (Thandiwe Newton) who served with him during the war. Along with her reputation of being a sharpshooter, she nurses a habit of hard drinking to help forget her regrets in life. The war that broke out after the flood was brutal. The rising sea levels were beyond comprehension. Dams were built that protected dry land where the rich would live. The poor would live in the crumbling city of drowned buildings. The world had changed so much. People have become nocturnal from the brutal heat of the day.

Work hours begins once the sun sets onto the ocean’s horizon. Movement begins as people take to the shallow, water covered streets. People travel through the city in small boats. We are introduced to Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), a nightclub singer who walks into Nick’s agency. She implores for their help to remember where she put her keys. Bannister is immediately enchanted by elegant vision that is asking for a little help.

From there, we follow along from the inevitable love affair that is shown as out of time memories. Mae, the femme fatale, and Nick, the stooge. The story shows that hard living gumshoe on the search for the woman that has captured his heart.

His investigation takes us to New Orleans where he meets Saint Joe (Daniel Wu), NOLA’S biggest drug dealer. He was also enchanted by Mae years ago. The story keeps one guessing, bending the noir trope to a new level. With twists and turns of classic noir in the story, instead of black and white, the contrasts come with the brightness of day and the neon of night.

This film was beautiful to watch, the views were visually stunning. The ocean is just as much a character as day and night. The story allows you to watch the intimacy as the two fall in love and you watch Bannister as his perception change in his search. I was enchanted as well with the film. The story was as much of a beautifully told love story as it was a neo-noir thriller. I enjoyed it. Jackman, Ferguson, and Newton gave very good performances along with the rest of the cast.

4 out of 5 Stars