After all this time, I did not know if I would recognize your face. But your voice has not changed.
Remember is built around a stunningly great performance by Christopher Plummer. He’s a survivor of Auschwitz struggling with dementia; when his wife dies, his friend, a wonderful Martin Landau, reminds him of a promise he made. With his wife gone and Landau’s character confined to a wheelchair, Plummer’s Zev sets out to find a guard from Auschwitz that escaped to the US under an assumed name. There are four elderly men across the country with the name and Zev slips away from his hospital and his son and begins his journey. The film is quite good, though I can’t imagine it working at all without Plummer’s magnificent performance at the center of it. As he struggles to hold on to his mind long enough to find the man he seeks, he finds a real pathos and pain. Dean Norris is fantastic as the son of one of the men Zev investigates; he’s really quite terrifying and the section of the film focused on his character is the most suspenseful and the most like a thriller. The rest of the film is more of a quiet drama. There are a few folks in the supporting cast who aren’t particularly good unfortunately, but the real problem with this film is the ending. I can’t really get into it without spoiling it and it is a film worth seeing for a lot of reasons; Plummer’s performance alone is worth the price of admission. So I won’t give away the ending, but it felt like a bit of a betrayal and it really crossed the line into pure thriller territory, I thought; the early sequence with Dean Norris is suspenseful, but doesn’t exactly feel like a pure genre piece. But the ending really does go too far in the direction and strains credulity in an effort to push things to a new level of suspense. Still, it’s a film I recommend. It’s great to get another central performance from Plummer and he really hasn’t lost a step over the years; this is one of his best performances, I think and the body of the film works really, really wonderfully. An ill-conceived climax doesn’t quite destroy all of that. 3 ½ stars.
tl;dr – Plummer is brilliant as an Auschwitz survivor seeking revenge; the film is moving, occasionally suspenseful and quiet; only in the climax does the film go off the rails. 3 ½ stars.