The Forgotten

Not really recommended. This movie had a very mind bending reality premise about a woman whose memories start to vanish of her son who died in an airplane crash. People around her start to “forget” and evidence of his existence disappears but she does not forget. It’s all very creepy with some very surprising moments. Kept me on the edge of my seat. I was wondering what is going to happen next the whole time, which is good, very good. But regretfully, the film is a set up without a pay off. It has the potential to be a very profound inquiry into the nature of memories and human value, but it falls flat for me. Here’s why: we start to realize that there is some big conspiracy going on with the government and aliens. Now, hearing this spelled out sounds stupid, but in the movie they did an excellent job of keeping it ambiguous and unknown and therefore very eerie. But the problem is, they kept it ambiguous all the way to the end, which left the story very unsatisfying. All we discover is that the aliens are doing some kind of experiment, with or without the government (they’re too powerful to be stopped) and they are trying to understand the love connection between a mother and her child that would make her hang onto memories and not let it go. So what? What does that mean? We are never told. We never find out who these aliens are and why the heck are they bothering with such experiments in the first place? Are they all cold hearted bastards or what? There is no revelation of why the villains do what they do, or even exactly WHAT THEY ARE ACTUALLY DOING. How is it that aliens are able to erase thousands of people’s memories and eliminate hard documentation of existence? Why are the NSA chasing the heroine, because the aliens can just get her when they want her? (They have god-like powers and presence) Why do aliens erase so many people’s minds, but then don’t erase the minds of a police woman who is figuring it out? And what makes the heroine so special in the first place? Why is it that she is the only one who never forgets her child? Why can’t they erase her memories? WAY TOO MANY unanswered questions that make the movie confusing. It was “cool,” looking but it just didn’t make sense. It is all supposed to remain some ambiguous Twilight Zone X-Files thing, but it really just ends up being an unsatisfying confusing story. A cheat. An insult to the audience. They set you up for an important revelation and then never pay it off. It’s like they wrote this story based on a cool idea of a person’s memories being erased and then wrote themselves into a corner of nonsense. Oh well, we’ll keep it all mysterious so the audience won’t figure out all our story holes. Uh uh. No way, Jack. It could have been a great psychological exploration of our memories, like Memento or the nature of how we deceive ourselves like The Sixth Sense. The Forgotten fails to provide a profound human connection with the story because it remains unclear.