FLARE 2010 - 'Remember Me' by Alicia Yang

Remember Me, in all irony, is a film that is difficult to remember. The film comes off as an exercise in self-indulgence on the part of its director, with constant bizarre shots of flowers and plants in the outdoors. Besides a shot of the young girl playing in the outdoors with some of the flowers, such shots bear little coherence to the overall theme or structure of the film.

Perhaps the director was trying to use weather and the outdoors as a motif for hope. The girl is often spotted outdoors and in a scene, playing with flowers, while her grandfather is often cooped indoors moping around, signifying his jadedness, and yet this jadedness is never adequately explained nor explored. For a film hinging on the relationship between a girl and her grandfather, this relationship is never quite explored, and the individual characters are weak, resulting in a film that falls flat on itself.

The casting of a child in the film (instead of a teenager, or even an adult) is also not properly utilized. A child character in a film can be a powerful tool to elicit nostalgia as well as have great emotional resonance with the most hardened of audiences, and yet the child in this film fails to make any sort of connection whatsoever. Besides coming off as a whimsical and playful girl who cares deeply for her grandfather, there is little else that endears her to the audience.

The problem with the film is that the director is working in the capacity of a visual artist and not a filmmaker. While the individual shots of the outdoors as well as the out of focus shots were beautiful, there were not congruent to the narrative or purpose of the film. In fact, the director never really delivers the purpose or point of the film, which is described as “a girl and her grandfather search(ing) for their past, as they are connected through a shared memory of what they lost” in the synopsis. A pity really, because the visuals by themselves are actually a sight to behold.

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