Remainder

Dir Omer Fast, with Tom Sturridge

An interesting and creative but ultimately baffling film. The sky (well, a glass roof actually) falls in on Tom and leaves him amnesiac. A massive compensation payout allows him to attempt to recreate his wisps of memory and leads him to stage a bank robbery, during his escape from which the sky falls in on him.

Logically, it’s irritatingly flawed. As a depiction of the hopelessness of Tom’s tragedy of losing his memory and inability to recover it, this circularity is fine. Unlike The Third Policeman, however, this story is set in clearly defined places – Brixton, Holborn – with very real stuff like the compensation payout (I don’t think £8.5 million would pay for endless reconstructions) and television reports of a shooting, so it doesn’t work as a surreal depiction of some kind of circle of hell.

What it does well is the imaginative portrayal of the life-changing effects of major trauma and the loss of one’s inner narrative to hold one’s life together. I found that truly disconcerting. It’s not just the shattering of the glass roof that is a chilling reminder of our potential physical and mental frailty, but also the numerous trips, stumbles and dislocating moments of déjà vu in the film. A lot more frightening than Green Room in the end: one’s unlikely to come across backwoods neo-Nazis, but an uneven kerb could be one’s downfall.

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