After collaborating on The Railway Man earlier this year, Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth have teamed up again in suspense thriller Before I Go To Sleep (15).
What’s It About? Kidman plays Christine, a woman who wakes up every day unable to remember anything about her life as a result of a traumatic accident that she had ten years earlier. Her husband Ben (Firth) patiently and lovingly guides her through each day but when Dr. Nash (Mark Strong) phones Christine and asks her to secretly keep a video journal of her day’s events a new and terrifying truth begins to emerge…
Verdict: Before I Go To Sleep is gripping from the get-go – with Christine being an unreliable protagonist everything about her life that she and the audience are told comes through Ben, who appears to be a sympathetic character who you can’t help but feel for. It is hard not to admire the patience and love that Ben has for his wife and the fact that he has lived every day for so many years having to repeat the same stories, with the knowledge that she won’t remember him in the morning, is heartbreaking to watch.
However, Christine is the real victim here as you can only imagine the uneasiness and confusion that must come to her every morning when she wakes up in a strange house in bed with a strange man and no recollection of her life and then having to put her total trust in this man. When Dr. Nash starts to call the house once Ben has left for work and remind Christine of the video journal that she has been keeping every day, Christine soon realises that there may be more to her accident than meets the eye and she has no idea who is on her side and who she should be running from.
Nicole Kidman gives a standout performance in this role and perfectly conveys her confusion, terror and unease at her situation in a way that really evokes the audience’s sympathy as well as their interest. The audience are in fact in the same position as Christine throughout, with key information and clues being discovered at the same time and at a steady pace that maintains the tense and unpredictable atmosphere of the film. Before I Go To Sleep is gradual in its revelations with many scenes or hints in the dialogue merely being curveballs to keep you guessing and confuse you even further. The film is a constant guessing game and, unlike so many films of this genre, the eventual twist is jaw-dropping, effective and absolutely nobody saw it coming – making it an incredibly satisfying watch!
Before I Go To Sleep is only made stronger by its grand reveal, with the plot coming to a terrifying climax that will have you on the edge of your seat with a pounding heart.
Final Words: Before I Go To Sleep is a hard-hitting and thought-provoking thriller with one of the most unpredictable and satisfying twists that this genre has seen in years. Nicole Kidman leads the film effortlessly with a human and relatable performance that immediately captures the heart and sympathy of the audience as they join her in a realm of unimaginable confusion and terror.
Before I Go To Sleep is out in UK cinemas from 5 September 2014.