Book Crossover: Before I Go to Sleep (2014) Film Review

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Title: Before I Go to Sleep
Theatrical Release: November 21, 2014
Watched: March 22, 2015
Book it's based from: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Read the book? Yes
Reviewed the book? Yes (4 stars)


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

So I'll try to be non-spoilery as much as I can. For sure, there will be no major spoilers but I wouldn't be able to talk about the film without saying ANYTHING at all so yeah.

Let's get the book comparisons out of the way first, so I can focus on the ACTUAL film for the rest of the review. In the book, Christine kept an actual diary while she kept a video diary in the film. For one, that's an interesting choice but a smart one as well. I mean, who wants to read a diary FOREVER in a film. So it was an intelligent cinematic choice for the film and I agree with it. Lastly, the book's details are pretty vague to me now so I can't say for sure point out the differences but I think a certain character's age has been changed. Now, onto the film itself!

If you've seen my tweets while I was watching the film, I pretty much boo-ed and ranted over the score. Barf. It was so over-the-top and it was trying too hard to make you feel that THIS IS OMINOUS/THERE IS SERIOUS SHIT GOING DOWN that it ended up kind of comedic. It was too in-your-face. I like my score subtle and slow in its build-up. Like, nothing's happening, this is a normal score, then, you're crested into a shitstorm. A good example of a great score for a thriller was Gone Girl's. A film's score is supposed to buoy you into the emotions but it was too flashy that I ended up disconnected to it all.

As for the characters! Colin Firth was great. Mark Strong isn't how I imagined Dr. Nash would look like but he did well. While I think I sympathized more with Book!Christine, Nicole Kidman was good as well. Acting was overall, fine, nothing awkward or anything. I'm completely being shallow here though because it kind of distracted me how wrinkly Nicole Kidman's hands are but her face was so smooth and young-looking. There's just a dissonance in it all. Haha!

Directing and editing. It was pretty good and it actually made the material even creepier than I remember the book being? Score aside (I really have an issue with it and I just wanna batter it with my umbrella), the lighting and editing were dark and made the pace alright.

Overall, I'd say this was a decent adaptation although not a memorable one.

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