The Forgotten – 3/10
Look, it’s a good film, but I had some serious issues with the scripting of it so I’m basically going to ruin the ending to explain why it rates so low.
The basic premise is, a woman whose son died in a plane crash is still not over the death of her son 14 months later. Then one day, everyone denies she had a son. And there’s no evidence she ever had a son.
There are some early scripting issues I had. Within the first half of the film, on two occasions the people chasing her get stopped by blind chance placing a car or person in their path so they lose her. Then in another scene, someone looking for her is practically right on top of where she’s hiding and… they get called away.
It all happens very close together and is basically really poor writing. Or directing – maybe the writer had her getting away using her wits and the director thought this was better visually. Who knows? What I do know is that it added up to some bad storytelling.
Later in the film, we meet the unfeeling power that has been screwing with people’s lives. It tells her it was all an experiment to see if it could make people forget their kids, but she’s a threat to the idea that it is possible. That was all fine, but when it suddenly lost its temper and screamed at her and talked about the personal cost to itself should it fail… that was shit. It’s a way to humanise the baddie, which is the exact opposite of what should have been done.
Which leads to the ending, which for me, seriously buggered the central conceit of the film.
Right at the end, when it becomes apparent that she’s not going to forget her son, the powers that be take away the bad guy, and basically give her her son back.
Seriously, is there any reason to do this other than to give the film a happy ending? Because it makes no friggin’ sense in the context of the entire movie. If they didn’t care about experimenting on these people in the first place, why would they care enough to give them back their kids? In fact, why would they even keep the kids alive? Or on ice? It doesn’t work, especially given that anyone else who seemed to be a threat to the status quo was simply removed, so why not simply remove her at the end of the experiment?
I would have preferred her to find out her son was still alive, living with another family somewhere in the world, and for her to decide she would keep looking for him. I can imagine the beings that started the experiment in the first place thinking that this would be a worthy follow-up. How many years would she search? What would she do? Could she find enough evidence to track him down?
It is a good movie, the acting is solid, it has some nice concepts, but the ending guts the central premise.