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Warning- this Reminiscence review WILL contain spoilers under the cut. 

Reminiscence intrigued me from the moment I saw the first trailer. I’m a fan of Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, AS WELL AS a good futuristic setting. So I decided to give it a try when it came out on August 20th. It’s worth noting that I watched Reminiscence on HBO Max rather than in a theatre, so experiences and opinions will vary. 

Without further ado, let’s get into this Reminiscence review, shall we? 

Neo-Noir Aesthetics, Classic Noir Story 

As I said, I was initially drawn to Reminiscence by the setting and aesthetics. The futuristic flooded Miami looks wonderful even on the small screen. I’m a sucker for a good neon aesthetic, and I adored seeing the reflection of the neon lights of Miami on the water. 

Even though the story has a central element utilizing this future technology of “The Reminiscence”- at its core the story is that of a classic noir film. Narrated in voiceover by our hard-boiled detective stand-in Nick (Hugh Jackman), it’s a mystery filled with love and deception. The story is so classic in fact, this is what I had in my notes within the first half hour: 

A corrupt land baron, a beautiful lounge singer that probably goes missing, and the man who is most likely in love with her stopping at nothing to find her. But, it’s likely that she’ll end up dead and there’s no happy ending, bc this is noir. Like a “forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.” The baron will face no consequences and our hero will use the tank to remember her constantly. 

Wanna guess how close I came to being 100% right? The Baron technically faces consequences, but everything else from that little blurb ended up happening. 

Symbolism Central 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there was a LOT of symbolism and metaphor going on in Reminiscence. We start out with the Queen of Hearts floating in the water. Then there’s the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, which doesn’t mean much if you don’t know the story (thanks, Hadestown OBC Recording!) but the very moment he mentioned it it confirmed there’d be an unhappy ending. It felt like it was communicating to the viewers “if he looks back, he’ll lose her”, with “looking back” being the central element of what Nick does as a job. 

Final Thoughts 

I have a lot of scattered thoughts about this film. Rebecca Ferguson is amazing in everything I’ve seen her in, and I always enjoy watching Hugh Jackman as well. I love the world that Reminiscence built, but I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that I was able to guess the whole story so early on. On the one hand, it’s almost comforting because you know the likely story beats and plot points that are coming. On the other hand, don’t we all like to be kept guessing in a mystery? We want our validation as screen sleuths to be earned rather than handed to us easily. 

In a time where nostalgia has been so marketed and monetized, Reminiscence presents a story of grief and the choice we make to overcome it or drown in it. 

Where to stream Reminiscence

You can stream Reminiscence starring Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson on HBO Max, or catch it in theatres. 

Stray Thoughts From My Notes: 

  • I also enjoy how they all have shoes that go up past their ankles like rain boots 
  • That’s actually super touching that the “angie” he wanted to see was his dog 
  • Can she tell they’re looking elsewhere in her memories? If not, at what point is it a violation of privacy that she didn’t ask for? 
  • Her costume designer really likes that cutout style on her 
  • Side note, what’s the age gap between Hugh and Rebecca? 
    • He’s 52 and she’s 37, that’s a 15 year gap 
  • When they’re walking through the laundry like that, why don’t they ever just look under it for their feet? 

Did you enjoy this Reminiscence review and want more movie and TV reviews? You can click here! For a daily dose of pop culture and all things geeky you can follow me on Instagram @glamgeekguru. 

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.

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