Reminiscence (2021): Obsession – escape or entrapment?

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Hugh Jackman returns to our screens as a private investigator who delves into the world of memories to retrieve clues. His mellifluous voice in Reminiscence (2021) begins the journey…


Perhaps one of the most frustrating events to occur in one’s life is the loss of one’s memories. While for some it may be a blessed relief – an escape, a method of healing, for others it forms a chasm as there is no retreat into calming, wonderful recollections. In addition, we assimilate information without realising the peripheral implications of our subliminal actions providing vital clues for crime investigations.

Such is the premise of Lisa Joy’s directorial futuristic feature début – ‘Reminiscence’. Set in the not too distant future, we enter PI Nick Bannister’s world where day is night and night is day. It’s a time where global warming has made the warmth of day unbearable, forcing a change of working hours; in addition, the oceans have expanded their territories creating Venice-like cities which can only be accessed by water transport.

Nick (Hugh Jackman) provides a service which enables his clientele to access the recesses of their minds and envisage their memories in holographic form. For some it’s merely a cathartic process, while for others it becomes an obsession – a drug to which they need to return, over and over again.

Journeys of discovery

Fully aware of the addictive, intoxicating nature of the service, Nick manages to navigate away from utilising his own technology… that is until he encounters Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). As the viewer we see his about turn, where obsession becomes reality as he discovers all is not as it seems. Murder, intrigue, suspense, lies and so much more.

Sometimes, the opening of doors which should have remained firmly closed bring more pain than relief and thus, as stated above, is Lisa Joy’s ‘Reminiscence’ escape or entrapment? That’s not for me to answer, but for you to decide. What I can state, however, is that I was enthralled though there were some aspects of the film which set me off on a total tangent as they were ‘reminiscent’ of a movie I had seen previously… and despite numerous searches on the internet (as well as dredging the minds of fellow film buffs) have been unable to unearth… your suggestions would be most welcome.


Hugh Jackman, Thandiwe Newton, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis, Daniel Wu


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