Christine (Nicole Kidman) wakes up every morning with her memory completely erased. Her husband Ben (Colin Firth) patiently reintroduces himself and their relationship to her. A certain Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong) also calls her house daily, telling her that she had been his patient since a violent experience caused her condition. With each day, Christine would discover something or someone which would help her piece her past back together. Will she ever be able to figure out the truth before she goes to sleep again?
A story that deals with memory loss had been tackled in several films. "50 First Dates" would probably be the most popular one, taking the lighter, romantic-comedy route to flesh out the problems of this condition. "Before I Go to Sleep" takes a decidedly more serious psycho-horror thriller approach. This story unfolds for the viewer as it unfolds for Christine. As we get absorbed into her condition, we will feel her helplessness as conflicting "truths" come to fore, and her shock as traumatic memories break through.
Nicole Kidman played the troubled Christine in a raw and sympathetic way. She carried the film well, as we all feel her trust issues and root for her to get to the bottom of things faster. Colin Firth had a more challenging job of playing a man trying his best to convince Christine of who he was and the sincerity of his love for her. The intense facial features of Mark Strong worked in his favor in his suspiciously ambiguous role as Dr. Nasch. Anne Marie Duff plays Christine's old friend Claire who could be the key to the mystery, or is she?
At 90 minutes, the pacing of the film was fast, with red herrings and twisty revelations coming one after the other. There are some questionable details about the story. A particularly glaring one was Claire's seemingly total isolation from the world, like there was no way for her to ask anyone else what happened to her after so many years of this problem. The degree of abusive violence can also be very disturbing. I was very interested and entertained up to the climax, but the ensuing scenes up to ending could have been better executed. 6/10.