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Reminiscence: A Critical Analysis

SPOILER FREE Reminiscence is a bit of an odd movie. I can't tell if I liked it or not. It's got some big ideas. It's got some twists. It's got some fancy special effects. And it's got some action. It's all thrown together rather crazily. It works in parts. And doesn't work in others. But subjective feelings about the movie aside, I wanted to do an analysis of it because from a storytelling standpoint it's quite an interesting film. Mainly because it's actually three different films in one. The first big building block of the film is setting. It takes place in the future after climate change has ravaged Miami. Sea levels have risen and the sun has become so hot that people have effectively turned night into the daytime as everybody sleeps while the sun is out. But rather than become a full-on dystopia like say Waterworld, Reminiscence treats climate change the way we probably will in real life. People adapt to it. Life goes on. And it's quite scary because we might actually be living in a world close to that a hundred years from now. One could probably write a movie just based off of that premise, but Reminiscence treats that idea as nothing more than a setting. The next story idea leans heavily into the concept of sci-fi and memories. Science has found a way to tap into people's memories so that they can be viewed by others. This is another concept that could have a whole movie onto itself. Reminiscence does a good job showing how this technology has developed over time. There is an early model where the memories are displayed on the screen, and then there's the new cutting edge tech that has the memories show up like a hologram. In a movie like Minority Report or Inception, the technology becomes the driving factor for the story. But Reminiscence merely uses its tech as a springboard for the film’s final aspect, which is very similar to an old school noir mystery. This is the plot that Reminiscence rallies around and uses as the driving force in its character development. To recap, the three films are actually climate change, sci-fi memory tech, and neo-noir mystery. Whether or not the movie actually works in using all these elements to its benefit is irrelevant. One person might think they blend seamlessly together while another person might say that it was just too jumbled of a movie. But regardless, I couldn't help but be impressed by the choice of having all three of these things exist simultaneously when a story could be built on one of them alone.

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