“Reminiscence”: a romantic thriller showing us a frightening look into our future

This mislabeled Sci-Fi thriller shows us a daunting look into a dystopian future


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Theatrical Release Poster

Vikram Sambasivan, Staff Writer

“You lost your queen.”

“Care to find her again?”

These words set the tone for this Sci-Fi flick.

Based in a corrupt future, in the aftermath of war, where climate change has melted the ice caps, flooding cities, causing the wealthy to buy up all of the “drylands” through extreme measures, a society that is so horrid that people turn to the past, rather than look ahead. The ability to feel the past (one of the technological and societal advances found in the movie), is even referred to as an addiction, emphasizing the destitute and laborious lives that one lives, which in turn highlights the major class divide which infects their society and implies that people cannot face the grim reality they’re currently in. This dystopian society shows an unvarnished view of society’s most vile and base instincts, all of which are prevalent in modern society.

Looking at this through a functionalist sociological perspective, class divides, power struggles, unhappy masses, poverty, greed, etc. are still prevalent in this futuristic society (and even thrive) because they are necessary to keep our understanding of society intact, which is why none of these traits have ever changed throughout history. In other words, as so eloquently stated in George Orwell’s 1984, “…inequality…[is] the unalterable law of human life.”

If I’m being honest, I expected the movie to be less focused on Bannister’s brief romance with Mae, but more on the corruption and power divide seen in this new world. It wasn’t the film that I expected it to be.

This movie is not a Sci-Fi thriller, but more of a romantic thriller with Science Fiction undertones. Throughout the entire film, man’s longing for love and hope is seen in all its various aspects. Bannister (Hugh Jackman) spends the entirety of the movie trying to find out what happened to his mysterious lover, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson).

Unlike many other thriller movies, the main goal isn’t the plot, but it’s more for character development. Throughout the course of the film, we learn more and more about Bannister, Mae and many other characters, as well as what drives them. There are many twists, turns and unexpected plot points which pop up throughout the movie, and through this method, we feel more of a connection to the characters and become more invested in the story.

The movie ends in a sort of round-about way, leaving one with a sense of completion and contentment, where everything finally comes together in the end as it is supposed to be. Written in the style of “The Shawshank Redemption,” like Andy Dufrense, Bannister refused to be beaten down by the society in which he lived and got the ending that he truly deserved.

Overall, I would not recommend Reminiscence if you’re looking for a fast-paced, action, Sci-Fi thriller, but if you’re in the mood for something a little more thoughtful, heart-wrenching, with a little action sprinkled in, then this would be a solid movie to watch.