Before I Go to Sleep: Paranoia or real fear?

This thriller based on amnesia stars big names such as Nicole Kidman, Mark Strong and Colin Firth

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Imagine waking up everyday to a strange man lying next to you in bed

If you watched the romantic comedy 50 First Dates and went “Aww”, you’ll change your mind about amnesia with Before I Go to Sleep.

Imagine waking up every morning and panicking when you see a strange man sleeping beside you. That’s the reality that Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) has to live with every single day.

The man beside her introduces himself as her husband, Ben (played by Colin Firth), and explains that she has suffered from brain damage since her car accident ten years ago.

Now, imagine you’re Ben – you have to repeat the same routine to the same frightened woman every single morning, and you don’t get to forget it. We’re not sure if husband or wife has it worse.

Lies & Deception

Can our heroine trust psychiatrist Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong)?
Can our heroine trust psychiatrist Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong)?

Christine consults a neurologist, Dr Nasch (Mark Strong, of Sherlock Holmes and Mindscape), who recommends that she records her daily revelations on camera. (That’s reality vlogging right there.) Over the course of her treatment, Christine makes further – and more shocking – discoveries about the people around her.

Along the way, we are also cast into dizzying paranoia about every other character in the movie. Is Ben telling the truth? Should Christine even be talking to Dr Nasch? Can Christine’s estranged best friend, Claire, be trusted?

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Colin Firth (left) plays Ben, who claims to be the husband of Christine (right, Kidman)

The best deception of all is that even we are being lied to. I’m not going to reveal it here; it’s a long con that you have to come to realisation yourself.

Recurring Nightmare

Although the movie is based on SJ Watson’s best-selling novel of the same name, Before I Go to Sleep has not garnered a big whoop among critics.

“Before I Go to Sleep feels like a recurring nightmare – the kind you wake up from and wonder why you dream in clichés,” one reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes wrote.

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Kidman has received surprisingly mixed reviews for her performance in Before I Go to Sleep

Kidman’s performance has received mixed responses as well (which is an uncommon occurrence). While some critics compliment her chilling delivery, others have criticised her for being deadpan and uninspiring. Laudable or laughable? You tell us.

Ultimately, it appears to be a lukewarm movie, so it’s a bit of a gamble to decide whether or not to catch it. This one really depends on your taste.

Before I Go to Sleep [PG13]

Director: Rowan Joffé
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Mark Strong & Colin Firth
Genre: Thriller
Run Length: 92 min
Release: 6 Nov

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