Movies Reviews

Review | Paths of Memory

Long seems a more romantic version of "Inception" and, therefore, lacks in its driving

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Warner Bros productions are in full swing. The producer's next debut is the feature Memory Pathsstarring Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson. The film is written and directed by Lisa Joy (co-creator and producer of the series Westworld) and initially the work would have been sold/advertised as a thriller of science fiction. However, the result is different: it's a dramatic romance film that is very well produced, has a strong cast, but doesn't bring anything so great that it stands out in the midst of features like 'Free Guy', 'The Suicide Squad' and 'The Boss Baby 2', even more so in a pandemic scenario and short money.

You will embark on a journey. A journey through memory. – Nick Bannister

The premise of the feature is simple and the idea that is said to be “original”, here is not so original and we have already seen this recipe in other feature films such as The origin. In Lisa Joy's feature, we are introduced to a machine that offers people the possibility to relive moments that happened in the past and we realize that the plot's focus is the attachment to the past, to what we don't want to lose and the importance of living in the moment. The feature has a somewhat post-apocalyptic footprint, as the plot takes place in a city of Miami completely underwater due to the consequences of global warming, configuring itself in a dystopian scenario and the aesthetic is adept at productions neo-noir. In addition to the futuristic footprint that refers to long films like Blade Runner. The most intriguing thing is that the feature does not bother to explain what actually happened and this is at the expense of aesthetics, the setting and what the characters say and we miss a contextualization, however brief.

With a futuristic and noir footprint, the feature does very well in its aesthetics/ Warner Bros./Disclosure

Although it's not an original story as it was sold, the movie isn't bad. The point of attention here is to have summarized the production to a good guy who would be capable of anything for the girl and the feature almost seems like a copy of the feature from Christopher Nolan, because there are many similarities such as a piece of equipment that gives the chance to travel through the mind or a beautiful woman who becomes the ghost of the good guy or a toxic relationship between father and son, in addition to many other “coincidences”… lose some of its personality and spoil the potential that the film could have had. However, the background of the story does its job well.

The cast is strong, however, the performances divide opinions. the talented Hugh Jackman plays Nick Bannister, an ex-military man who now serves as a scientist and mind detective and it is he who operates the device that gives the chance to relive the past. He falls intensely in love with the mysterious Mae, a character in Rebecca Ferguson, which disappears without explanation. Like a drug addict, Nick keeps revisiting the memories, the memories he had with his redhead crush to try to understand what happened. Here, Jackman manages to convey truth in his interpretation, moving and he makes the viewer connect with his pain. Even at 52, after being retired from his most famous character, Wolverine/Logan, he shows himself very well in the action and body fight scenes. Apart from the charm he has that also enchants and with the disappearance of the co-protagonist, he begins to search incessantly for his beloved.

Nick is an addict and tries tirelessly to understand what happened to Mae /Warner Bros./Disclosure

Already Rebecca Ferguson, on the other hand, doesn't have such a developed character. She delivers a performance full of charm and sensuality, but doesn't convince her of the real reason a nightclub singer, addicted, does what she does. Even though she has a chemistry with Jackman that we've seen in The King of the Show – with a romance built quickly, however, without being exaggerated, no “I love you” here and there – she did not have her role as prominent as it should be. But on the other hand, the acting and all the highlights go to the wonderful Thandiwe Newton, which as a supporting role is more interesting, because she has her arc well developed, she carries a drama in the midst of all the hardcover that she shows to have and shows herself to be wise, courageous... always with a timing perfect on stage.

this machine of yours… how far can you go… before the illusion is broken? - Mom

Despite going far from the ambition of being a sci-fi thriller, focusing on relived memories and going hand in hand with the dramatic novel, the duo of protagonists manage to impact us with chemistry and promote a reflection on the idea proposed in the feature. Another point that deserves a lot of attention is the photography work and the soundtrack, which are very good and complement each other in a perfect, well-balanced harmony. The special effects are very well introduced, the color palette does not differ much from the proposal, it is happy in the happy scenes and in the sad moments we see colder colors and pulled towards black, dark blue with low lighting. On screen the work is wonderful. 

Jackman and Ferguson Have Good Chemistry in 'Way to Remember' / Warner Bros./Handout

Memory Paths is scheduled for release on August 19, 2021. The cast also includes Cliff Curtis (Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw), Tavira marina (Pomegranate), Daniel Wu (Into the Badlands), Mojean Aria (dead lucky), Brett Cullen (Joker), Natalie Martinez (The Stand), Angela Sarafyan (Westworld) and Nico Parker (Dumbo).

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