I make it a point to watch movies from start to finish, even if I’m not enjoying myself. Call it eternal optimism, but I’m not one of those people who will walk out on a movie. More often than not, shitty movies stay shitty. In the case of Mnemonica, however, it wasn’t a case of waiting for a shitty movie to get better so much as it was a case of a film that hadn’t really engaged me from the start slowly growing on me as the story moved along.
The story revolves around Bucky (Zach Mandel), a social inept guy who goes about his days obsessing over a missing crush, Meghan (Elizabeth Wood). He’s not a very interesting guy; all pursed lips and monotone delivery, he doesn’t really “wow” you with his personality. As with most who populate his world, he’s someone to tolerate at best, and ignore at worst. As innocuous a human as one can get.
At the same time, there seems to be an awful lot of confusion over exactly what happened to the missing Meghan. Was her disappearance related to something Bucky was involved with, was it demonic in nature (and is she ACTUALLY haunting Bucky) or is it all some great meta-mystery wrapped in a novelist’s stories come to life, as read and interpreted by his own creations. Is ANY of that in the movie? ALL of it? What’s going on here?
That’s where Mnemonica earns its wings. Again, Bucky isn’t all that interesting on the surface but if you stick in there, the film rewards you with a pleasant mystery to work through, and even switches up its look and tone to match. The world of Mnemonica is an idiosyncratic monster, and the people who populate it all slightly “off,” which lends to the mystery as, even when Bucky doesn’t hold your interest, they do. The film works because you want to know where they’re coming from as much as you want to know what’s going on.
So what’s the final word here? Is it worth checking out? Yeah, but you need to give it time. I wasn’t on board for the first 15 minutes or so, but it really works itself into your skin if you let it get there. I’m even thinking about watching it again, because I’ve still got some questions that need answering. The more I’ve been thinking about it to write this review, the more I’ve been wondering if I have any idea what I’m talking about…
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