Based on the best selling novel by SJ Watson, Before I Go to Sleep is a very frustrating film, starring Nicole Kidman and Mr Darcy (Colin Firth). Described as a 'gripping psychological thriller' by critics, I'd like to refer to it more as a distinctly average crime story. If I had to liken it to a fruit; it would be a poached apple; easily digestible and not at all exciting.
The film tells the story of Christine (Kidman) a woman who suffers from acute amnesia. She is only able to store information for twenty-four hours. Every morning she wakes up and asks the question 'Who am I?' We are subjected to this charade about ten times before the film even begins to get remotely interesting. As you can imagine, this isn't fun.
Believing that her illness is the result of a car crash, we later find out that Christine was in fact discovered with blows to the head; making her the victim of a violent attack. The film is basically Christine's journey to discovering how she sustained the injuries and who was responsible for inflicting them. As the story unfolds, we are introduced to a neuro-specialist Dr Nash (Mark Strong) who, without her husband's knowledge, has been helping Christine piece together the truth behind the incident.
Without revealing the plot any further; I'd like to say that the trailer for this film does a very impressive job of making it look exciting, intelligent and fast-paced. In reality, I was more interested in my popcorn than the plot. Littered with Lumix product placement, this film is more like a two hour Panasonic advert (if you've seen it, you'll know what I'm referring to).
Furthermore, the film is extremely aggressive and at parts very uncomfortable to watch. Like a giant showcase of domestic violence, it made me wince a few times and almost seems violent just for the sake of it. When you have to look away from the screen, that's when you know a film has gone too far. I'm surprise that it got away with a certificate fifteen rating.
Before I go to Sleep doesn't even successfully deliver that feeling of self-righteousness when you've sensed the twist from the onset. It really is that uneventful. The so-called 'twist' in the film is decidedly undramatic and unoriginal. It's nothing we haven't seen before. Don't get me started on the silly ending; it is so predictable and wishy-washy that I would've chucked my popcorn at the screen if there had been any left.
On the positive side; the role is brilliantly played by Nicole Kidman, and well done to Colin Firth for choosing not to play his usual role of a soppy Englishman for once. Definitely no Mr Darcy here.
My verdict - wait until it's on DVD... and then in the reduced section.