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If Memory Serves Review

If Memory Serves is a 2016 silent movie about a couple separated by a tragedy and the quest it takes to reunite them. Using a style of filmmaking that evokes the best of early cinema to a brand new generation.

From the Twin Cities Film Festival: If Memory Serves is written and directed by Andrew DeVary. Set around the time of WWI. The story follows a young soldier who has been drafted to go into battle right around the same time his girlfriend has just been injured in a car accident. She awakens with no memory and a shady doctor who pretends to pose as her husband. Thinking his lover has died( because that’s what the evil doctor told him in a letter). The man returns home and is surprised to find out that she is very much alive but with no memories of him. How will he make her remember the love they once had.

What I described may seem kind of dark and sad, it really isn’t. While this movie does have moments of being  dramatic at times. This is very much a high spirited comedy with some terrific examples of physical comedy that both Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin would be proud of. I don’t have any information about the cast members, but they all did a fantastic job. Not just our two lovers and the evil doctor. But the two bumbling police officers, the homeless man who has a hidden treasure, the pan handler and many other supporting roles were all really good.

If Memory Serves is a really good homage and tribute to classic silent cinema. In some ways it even surpasses the 2011 Academy Award winning film The Artist. That movie was set in Hollywood and it was all about silent movies going into sound. However,this feature feels like it was made in the actual time it was set in. As much as I love The Artist and it’s way of making silent movies hip again. I don’t think studios at the time were releasing movies about actors having trouble going into talkies.

If Memory Serves is at a decent enough length, but I feel the movie spent more times on other characters rather than our two leads. I never felt the story about the homeless guy wanting to reunite with his family nor the other one about another soldier who becomes somewhat jealous of our main hero had any weight or real connection to the main plot. They almost feel like those elements could be their own story.

Making a silent black and white  film especially in this day and age of big effects driving blockbusters shows a lot of  integrity on the filmmakers part. Even though everything was shot digitally. The way the actors move on screen, you would think that it was shot using the same original cameras from back than. The movie does feature sound, but it’s not used as cheap gimmick. It actually works in the context of the plot. At just over an hour and eleven minutes. If Memory Serves could serve as a good throwback to a style of filmmaking that has long gone but should never be forgotten.

If Memory Serves Review

Director(s): Andrew DeVary

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