Retrograde amnesia, memory loss, temporary amnesia. Not being able to remember previous events can be frustrating and make our lives difficult, it can be caused by a traumatic event, a shock, a concussion or it can be the consequence of many other tragic events. This has been exploited by the cinematography industry quite often, and some of the movies that are included in this topic are remembered today as true works of art.
Nevertheless, the following list will contain some items that might have not been treated well by the critics or some viewers; surely not unanimously acclaimed. As the inaugural post of “Movie Wednesday”, I first want clarify that there will be times where I’ll include movies I haven’t seen yet. But I can guarantee you, if I say that I’ve watched it and gets my seal of approval, then it is, in most cases, a MUST-SEE piece of cinematography!
Released in 2000, directed by Christopher Nolan and starred by these actors.
I watched this movie expecting nothing less than an amazing reversed story, and that’s what I got. The movie is sectioned in two. In one, Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator, fights to find the person who murdered his wife as the only thing he can remember is the murder itself; in the other story, we are shown the forward-moving story of how things really happened; both colliding to reveal more and more about the truth. Leonard relies on writings he has on his entire body that are useful to him, writings that serve as leads to pursue during his investigation. A true classic that you can’t die without watching! This is the first one you should put in your list.
The Bourne trilogy
Started in 2002, directed by Doug Liman (along with Paul Greengrass in 2004 and 2007) and starred by Matt Damon and more.
This trilogy (let’s forget about The Bourne Legacy, which was released in 2012) consists of the following pieces:
1- The Bourne Identity (as you see in the poster, 2002).
2- The Bourne supremacy (2004).
3- The Bourne ultimatum (2007).
I won’t tell you how all three movies go but I can guarantee you that the adventures of Jason Bourne will amaze you. It is about a man who loses his memory and slowly recovers from amnesia while he is being hunted down. The trilogy set the bar for some espionage movies that followed. It captivates you with its well-written story (based on a novel by Robert Ludlum) and the realism of the action scenes.
Released in 2001, directed by David Lynch and starred by Naomi Watts.
The outright odd and mysterious venture of an actress who gets involved in a car accident. After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
50 first dates
Released in 2004, directed by Peter Segal and starred by Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore.
I remember being a toddler when this first came around on TV, back then I enjoyed it a lot. I was glued to it because I wanted to know what was going to happen every single time towards the very end. Now I still enjoy it, but I reckon some of the jokes and moments are just unnecessary and not funny at all.
Drew and Sandler had an amazing chemistry here, the movie’s about Lucy who suffers from short term memory loss, thus making her forget the date she’d had with Henry the day before; this is how it all begins. Henry tries and does everything possible to make her feel in love with her every day, and the day after that and so forth. The criticism this movie gets is justified, but it should not be a problem for you to enjoy this movie.
Released in 2003, directed by Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich. A Pixar movie.
I really thought this twice, most of you might have already watched Nemo, but still… can’t miss the opportunity to mention one of the greatest Pixar movies. I put it in here because the way that dory constantly forgets important details that could make the difference between losing Nemo forever or reuniting with him.
The long kiss goodnight
Released in 1996, directed by Renny Harlin, written by Shane Black and starred by Geena Davis & Samuel L. Jackson.
Follows the same concept as The Bourne trilogy, but this time, is a woman named Samantha who suddenly discovers she’s actually an ex-CIA assassin and agent. But revealing more plot details would be a spoiler so let’s cut it off. If you loved Bourne, you will like Samantha, but not as good as you would expect. It will be a good ride seeing a family mother uncovering bit by bit parts of her former life.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
Released in 2004, directed by Michel Gondry and starred by Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet.
Haven’t seen this movie yet, but I will, tomorrow. I asked a friend and told me about this heartwarming movie that you cannot miss! I will add the synopsis and if it doesn’t make you want to watch it, then I don’t know what will…
A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
Released in 1990, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starred by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For a reason unknown to me, I wanted to leave this movie out of my list, but given that I enjoyed it so much and the topic is arrived from a different perspective, I will keep it.
When the main character has recurrent dreams about mars, you know something is going on with his memory, he discovers some interesting facts about his past after a failed “virtual vacation” session in a place where fake memories are sold. This movie is a classic, no doubt about it, so please stay way from the remake.
Finishing the list
What if I told you there are more and more movies that I should have included? I left out Dark City but it is worth mentioning, so I encourage you to watch it!
Dark City (1998)
A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun and run by beings with telekinetic powers who seek the souls of humans.
Time to comment! If you have a memory loss movie that is worth including, I can always make a little edition, but first, I need to watch it in order to make me want to include it.
Happy new year and thanks for reading 😉