…votive

Remember Me (2010) Dir. Allen Coulter

This incredible movie gives us a story about happiness and disappointment, heartbreaks and falling in love. Sparing us tacky melodrama, it’s full of genuine emotions.

First, it’s a story about men. It presents fascinating characters: troubled, lonely, angry. The men are full of flaws, far from perfect, which makes them even more interesting to watch. Tyler (Robert Pattinson) is constantly looking for trouble, mostly to piece off his father. On one hand, he doesn’t want anything from him. On the other, he does all sorts of things to catch his attention, even if unintentionally. His father, Charles Hawkins (Pierce Brosnan), is a rich businessman, who has managed to detach himself from his family emotionally — at least, it looks so on the surface. There’s also Neil Craig (Chris Cooper), a police officer and a single father, who lost his wife in a gruesome murder. They find it difficult to talk about their feelings, especially when it comes to talking with their kids. Better to pretend they don’t care that to show their vulnerability. Neil doesn’t know how to talk to his daughter, who’s no longer a little girl. He’s not bad, only a bit dominating and overprotecting. The same case is with Tyler and Charles. There’s a lot of bad blood between them, and with each meeting they end with even more bitterness on both sides.

Second, it’s also a story about women. They’re also unique: smart and beautiful, but lost and lonely. Ally (Emilie de Ravin), Neil’s daughter, is definitely smart and pretty, but she’s also at a point when she doesn’t know a lot of things about life. Tyler and Ally pretty quickly hit it off. They start dating, and pretty soon it becomes obvious it’s much deeper than just a fling. They’re both lonely in a way since both of them witnessed a death of a loved one. Perhaps, it’s a thing that connects them. Then, there’s Caroline (Ruby Jerins), a talented 11 year old. I expected her to be placed more in the background, an excuse for Tyler to have a few brief conversations with, as it’s most likely for a younger sister of the main character. In spite of my predictions, she’s got a fascinating personality, and turns out to be an important character herself, the one we honestly care about.

Third, it’s a story about feelings. Luckily, the movie avoids any melodrama. The same goes for any kind of drama. It lets us become involved with the story as much as we want, without exaggerating the dramatic elements, or forcing us to root for the characters. Their feelings, like love and hate, are genuine and convincing. Is the story universal then? I wouldn’t jump to this conclusion entirely. After all, it centers around one couple, Tyler and Ally. It traces their relationship from the first meeting, through the first kiss, and the first ‘I love you.’ They’re not supposed to symbolize all young people, all young lovers. In this way, we wouldn’t buy them or their relationship. It’s not the purpose of their story. Quite the contrary. They’re just a regular couple with all their imperfections, for example, Tyler’s outbursts of anger, or Ally’s attempts to deal with her mom’s death. What makes all of them so great is that they’re not crystal clear, but not exaggerated in their imperfection, either.

At the end, Tyler and Ally find love and balance, two things they clearly lacked. Watching them get there becomes a real pleasure. The story is smart and gripping so even without a very emotional ending it’s a treat. It’s so refreshing to watch a movie about characters I actually care about. Plus, it’s also an important movie (you’ll know once you watch it). Remember Me is a title you simply can’t miss!

Long days, pleasant nights,

Veronica Bazydlo

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One thought on “…votive

  1. I simply adore this movie. It actually shocked me enough to make me cry and this had never happened before. I watched it twice and I would recommend it to anyone too. It’s pure, real, and so freaking emotionally intense at the end. Amazing, just amazing. (great review, btw!)

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