Movie Review #01: Remember

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Remember tells the story of Zev Guttman, a 90-year-old who lives in a retirement home and is struggling with memory loss. Following the death of his wife Ruth, he gets a package from his close friend Max. The package contains money and a letter that reminds Zev that his wife has died and that he’d promised to do something very important after his wife died. The letter details what the important things is. Zev has clearly forgotten much about his past, and Max reminds him in the letter that they were prisoners in Auschwitz. Max has found out that a sadistic guard at the camp who was responsible for the deaths of both their families escaped Germany immediately after the war and has been living in the U.S. ever since under an assumed identity. Max is wheelchair-bound but in full command of his mental faculties, and with his guidance (through the letter and regular contact via telephone), Zev embarks on a cross-country trip to avenge their families by bringing justice to the man who destroyed both their lives.


Where to begin with this?

It was a very moving film for me, personally, not just because of the basic human element involved of this poor old guy who’s dealing with memory loss and watching him try to navigate his surroundings and dealing with different people along the way.

Another part of what made it moving was just the overall story on the surface: a survivor of one of the worst genocides in modern history in search of revenge against one of the people responsible for killing his family.

Something else that made this have such an impact on me was because of personal experience. My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s, and it’s very sad to watch the decline happen as they lose themselves and their identity little by little.

So, that alone is enough to make some people identify with this character on a level that some others may not – much like a Holocaust survivor, or people who are related to one of them can identify with the feelings in this movie on a deeper level than those who never lived through it can.

For such a small, quiet, short little movie (it’s only about 90 minutes long), there were so many moments where you’re just about breathless, wondering what’s going to happen.

How is he going to get through this encounter?

Is he going to get found out with the weapon he has?

Is he going to remember what he’s doing?

The letter his friend wrote him is his lifeline to remembering, and he uses it often to reel himself back to the reality of his situation, but that lifeline is very tenuous because … what if something happens to the letter? How will he remember what he’s doing? How will he remember who he is?

At the end, there is a final, earth-shattering, moment for him when he remembers something pivotal. That particular scene was quite impactful and felt like a punch to the gut. I won’t go into the specifics here because it would be too much of a spoiler; you’ll just have to see and experience it for yourself.


Story: 5
Simple, yet powerful. Did not see the twist at the end coming, but it was pulled off so effectively that it really couldn’t have been any other way.

Performance: 5
Christopher Plummer delivers an outstanding performance and supporting cast members do a great job as well, managing to capture an essence of believability with their performance – especially in the scenes involving different people he came into contact with as he’s in the search for this monster who had ruined his life as a younger man.

Overall: 5
The whole presentation was done so well – the simplicity of the overall story in addition to the convincing and heartbreaking performance by Christopher Plummer all work together in a way that is easy to connect with on a human level.

I highly recommend this little film. At only about 90 minutes, it’s not a long watch. I hope that you check it out and enjoy it as much as I did.

Remember is available here through Amazon Prime and also for regular purchase here.


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