Rememory is a 2017 science-fiction crime mystery directed by Mark Palansky. The film is centred on the puzzling death of a scientist whose invention extracts any memory from a subject’s mind in its raw and unaltered form. A man with a dark secret helps uncover the person responsible for the scientist’s death. Rememory sees Peter Dinklage in the leading role with other cast members including Julia Ormond, Martin Donovan, Anton Yelchin, Ian Cusick and Évelyne Brochu. It’s a pretty good film with a substantial plot and great acting. This is Barry, welcome to my site, and here’s the 2017 movie Rememory explained, spoilers ahead.
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Rememory: What is the movie about?
Going by the name, it appeared that the film was going to have characters altering their memories much like in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. But thankfully the film doesn’t tread into that territory a lot. Rememory is the story of a man whose irresponsible action causes his brother and a little girl to lose their lives.
It’s a pretty straightforward film made more captivating because of the non-linear storytelling. However, I’m going to go through the plot linearly as that will put things in perspective.
Rememory: Plot Explained
Rememory: What has Sam done?
Sam gets drunk with his brother at a pub and insists on driving back home. On a poorly lit road, he crashes into a car which has Gordon and his family. The accident claims the lives of Sam’s brother and Gordon’s daughter. Gordon and his wife are knocked unconscious. Driving under the influence of alcohol and resulting in two deaths would surely mean years of jail time. Realizing the consequence of his action, Sam moves his dead brother to the driver’s seat and runs into the woods to find help, indicating that Sam lied to the authorities that his brother was the one driving the car.
What does Dash whisper to Sam before dying?
Just before the crash, Sam and Dash are merrily singing along to music in their car. Given the shock of the accident, Dash continues to sing the song before passing away. This is revealed in the end when Sam revisits the memory of his accident.
Who is Gordon Dunn? What is Cortex?
Gordon is the man behind a memory extraction device. The theory the film talks about is that humans are a sum of their memories. Who we are on a particular day is the result of memories from every day before. But memories are elastic, they change over time. This device Gordon has invented can extract any memory in its original unchanged form.
What is the problem with the memory machine?
For a small group of people, the device ends up creating hallucinations—explicit and emotional memories getting confused and playing out in reality. This flaw in the machine is something that Cortex is trying to hide to launch it into the market—a pretty dumb move considering the effect it had on Allison.
Who is Allison? What happened to her?
Allison was one of Gordon’s test subjects. Her reactions to using the machine were most adverse. Allison hallucinates so severely that she’s unable to define her reality and eventually kills herself. To keep matters quiet, Neil Frankel pays Allison’s sister hush money of $50,000.
Who is Neil Frankel?
Neil is an employee of Cortex and was also part of Gordon’s test group because of his photographic memory. Neil doesn’t trust Robert because he hid the dangerous side-effects the machine had on a few people.
Who is Robert Lawton?
Robert appears to be the owner of Cortex. He is not a murderer, he did not kill Gordon. However, Robert has been untruthful and will do anything to ensure the success of his company.
Who is Todd? Did he kill Gordon?
Todd is one of the people from the test group. Todd was picked for the group because he was once shot by a store robber, an incident that left him with amnesia. One of the fellow workers at the store got shot and killed because Todd accidentally drew the attention of the gunman. Thanks to amnesia, Todd was able to live without the overbearing guilt. When he’s put on the machine, his memory is revived. After this, Todd struggles each day as he continually sees the girl in the store dying because of him.
Todd wants Gordon to remove that memory, but Gordon doesn’t do it because it’s not safe to delete a memory. As a result, Todd blackmails Gordon with information pertaining to Wendy Polk. When that doesn’t work, Todd decides to kill Gordon, but he can’t get himself to do it. He only fires warning shots at the wall.
Who is Wendy Polk? Did she kill Gordon?
Gordon ends up having an affair with one person from his test group, Wendy. Soon, Todd gets to know about this and threatens Gordon asking him to delete his resurfaced memory. In response, Gordon ends the affair with Wendy. Wendy herself is upset because Gordon has extracted a memory very private to her and has used it in his public presentation; she wants it back.
Wendy is actually in love with Gordon. All she’s after are the memories that he had extracted from her head. She has nothing to do with Gordon’s death.
Rememory: Who killed Gordon?
Gordon killed Gordon. When he realizes the kind of pain he has put people like Todd in, he deems the machine to be a horrible failure. To end his own suffering, he locates the memories of his daughter and tries to delete them. This results in a catastrophic shutdown of his brain due to over-firing of synapses; Gordon dies of a stroke.
Why is Sam trying to help?
Sam, in his extreme guilt, follows Gordon down to a hotel he’s staying at. There, the two of them have drinks, and Gordon tells Sam about his life and his daughter, not knowing that Sam was the one from the accident. Sam initially plans to tell Gordon the truth and then jump off from the terrace, but he’s unable to confess. Instead, Sam and Gordon, both drunk, take a trip to the roof and get locked up there. The harsh winds give them a terrible time, but the two eventually make it out of the terrace. Ever since, Sam carries a letter about the night of the accident, the truth, but never finds the courage to hand it to Gordon.
Then one day Gordon dies and the gunshots fired at the wall in the office makes it look like murder. Sam wants to find who did this so that Gordon’s wife, Carolyn, can get some closure given she has already lost her daughter.
Rememory Explained: How does Sam solve the case?
Sam starts off by following Wendy, who has the stolen machine and enters Gordon’s home office to retrieve her memory file. Later, Sam lands up at Gordon’s house under an alias and consoles Carolyn. After gaining her trust, he steals the keys to Gordon’s home office. Later at night, Sam returns to take the machine and all the memory files. Sam systematically goes through the memories of everyone in the test group and locates Wendy, who turns out to be innocent. Sam then meets Todd to understand what he has been through and realizes that Todd too is not the murderer. Sam heads to Carolyn’s place to give her all the information he’s collected thus far and confesses that he lied about his name when they first met. Robert shows up at that moment to check with Carolyn if she was contacted by Sam, who has been seen on the surveillance footage on the night of Gordon’s death, but Carolyn doesn’t give Sam up.
In exchange for Wendy’s memories, Sam arranges for a meeting between Carolyn and Wendy to find out the truth about Gordon’s death. Wendy shares her memory of that night to prove that Gordon was already dead when she arrived. Convinced, Carolyn hands Wendy’s memories back to her. In return, Wendy hands over Gordon’s last recording.
The ending of Rememory shows Sam making a memory-recording of the night of the accident to give to Carolyn as a confession. Meanwhile, Carolyn sees the final recording of Gordon to realize that he died trying to delete the memories of his daughter. Having used the machine herself, Carolyn gets to experience the untainted memories of the time with her daughter and husband and finds closure. Sam shows up and hands his recording over to Carolyn, but she doesn’t care anymore. As far as Carolyn knows, Sam is the person who has helped her find closure. She puts the memory files of both Gordon and Sam in a bottle and tosses it into the ocean. Everyone moves on with their lives.
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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