A little over a year after the announcement of the fourth season of Westworld (written by Lisa Joy and directed by her husband Jonathan Nolan, candidates in 2017 for Emmy Awards just for the famous series), the same screenwriter will amaze us with her debut as a director in the feature film, Fragments from the past – Reminiscence, of which we offer you the review today. Distributed by Warner Bros, we will find it in Italian cinemas from August 26, 2021, with his completely original writing. In fact, in various interviews Lisa Joy admits that it took five years to complete it, even if it had already been recorded in the black list, among the best scripts not yet realized.
The screenwriter, director and television producer also admitted that she has always thought about Hugh Jackman in the role of the protagonist, we see it in fact, in interpreting the part of Nick Bannister, a veteran of the navy turned private investigator. In the cast, in addition to Hugh Jackman, we also find the beautiful Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson in the role of But it is, lover and co-star of Nick; the work colleague and friend, also a veteran of the navy said Watts interpreted by Thandie Newton, and then again Daniel Wu in the guise of the gangster Joe, at the head of the New Orleans underworld, and finally the antagonist Cyrus Booth, played by the New Zealand actor and film producer Cliff Curtis.
Year 2030, mankind is facing a climate crisis caused by global warming, rising waters invade cities making them unlivable and forcing survivors to emigrate to safer places. In Miami Nicolas Bannister, a war veteran, works as a private investigator “memories “ and through the use of some machinery and with the help of a colleague and friend Watts – also a former comrade – manages to “ferry” people within their memory, bringing back nostalgic moments or forgotten details. Nick’s life suddenly changes when Mae turns to him to find the keys to his apartment. Nick will be enchanted by her, falling madly in love with her. Everything will change when after a few months of relationship Mae will disappear into thin air without giving explanations. Unable to let her go and driven by doubt Nick, he will start looking for her everywhere and by any means possible, later discovering that the woman he was in love with was not exactly who he thought she was.
Fragments from the past – Lisa Joy’s directorial debut
There plot is full of ideas of a social nature and interesting stylistic choices, in fact, the scene that opens the feature film immediately shows us the first complaint that Lisa Joy wants to highlight, or the situation in which mankind is experiencing the climate crisis. In fact, in the opening shot we see a flooded Miami, cause global warming. Below he shows us another daily reality, the difficulty of people in being able to leave their past behind, clinging to every memory in order not to move forward and create a future for themselves. That’s why, the main character Nicolas Bannister, he often finds himself having to ‘relive’ his customers the exact same memories.
Excellent acting as well we could have expected, Hugh Jackman (Nick) transports the viewer in every emotion, situation and moment. ‘I don’t know if she was a liar, a drug addict or a killer.’ This quote, taken from the film, briefly explains the role of Rebecca Ferguson (Mae): with the splendid acting and the help of the director, she shows us the three sides of the character, leaving us in doubt about the true nature of this mysterious woman. We initially see her in the guise of a passionate and in love Mae, immediately after we believe she is a lying drug addict fleeing her past, then again, a cold emotionless killer, to finally discover reality, that is a woman in love intent on protecting him. who loves from his mistakes. Interesting choice of the character of Joe (Daniel Wu), especially the union in the spoken language in which it combines English and Chinese, making the dialogues and the role more fluid and truthful.
Shakespearean the antagonist Cyrus Booth (Cliff Curtis), which with the phrase ‘survive or die’ makes us understand how in a post apocalyptic world you have to do what you can not to succumb, pushing, ‘almost’, the viewer to understand his actions. Intriguing the use of photography and color that combines three different genres, warm colors such as ocher yellow, for example, drag the viewer back in time, an effect “Vintage” which almost takes you back to the 1920s, used when you dive into memories. While the use of cold colors refers to reality, in the daily truth from which everyone flees, in a life lived at night where everyone “thinks for himself”. The pace of the film varies from scene to scene, the soft start helps to understand the characters well, their role, where they are and why they are there. It turns out soft, unfortunately, even in the many dialogues that follow, certainly not helping the viewer. The climax comes above all in the action moments and in the most dramatic tapes, making the scenes that precede it captivating and keeping the audience glued to the screen.