The Forgotten (DVD)

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The Forgotten (DVD)

Until the very last moments of Joseph Ruben's spooky suspense thriller, viewers will question who's who in the us-versus-them conundrum. We have but o...

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Review of "The Forgotten (DVD)"

published 19/05/2012 | CelticSoulSister
Member since : 25/10/2009
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Thanks heartily for all the r/r/c to everyone. If it appears that I've not rated you, it most likely will be due to having used up all your reviews and am waiting for your next publication. Also I've disabled receiving alerts via email for a good reason.
Pro Well-acted, the first part of the film is sleek and gripping
Cons Wandered off into avenues which lacked feasibility, poor camera work
very helpful
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"Just an illusion?"

RELEASED: 2004, Cert.12

RUNNING TIME: Approx. 90 mins

DIRECTOR: Joseph Ruben

PRODUCERS: Bruce Cohen, Joe Roth & Dan Jinks

SCREENPLAY: Gerald Di Pego

MUSIC: James Horner


Julianne Moore as Telly Paretta
Anthony Edwards as Jim Paretta
Gary Sinise as Dr. Munce
Dominic West as Ash
Alfre Woodard as Det, Anne Pope



Telly Paretta is in deep grief over her small son being killed in a plane crash 18 months earlier. Things are pretty tough for Telly because Jim, her husband, together with her therapist Dr. Munce, constantly keep pushing at her that she is delusional, telling her that she never had a son. Jim puts Telly’s delusions down to her experiencing a miscarriage at around the time she believes her son was killed in a plane crash.

Despite it being proved by both her husband Jim and her therapist that photo albums which she believes contained pictures of her with her son and video tapes which she believes are films of the family together are part of her delusory behaviour, because when checked, they show no evidence at all of a son ever having existed, Telly still insists that she isn’t going mad, that she did have a son, and continues to assert he had been killed in a plane crash.

Telly begins to suspect that her husband and therapist are playing mind games with her for whatever reason, deliberately erasing all evidence of the existence of a son. Constantly on the lookout for ways to prove that she hasn’t lost her mind, Terry befriends Ash, a man who she believes lost his young daughter in the same plane crash. At first, Ash has no memory of even having a daughter, but Telly’s persistence pays off and his memory of his daughter and the plane accident returns.

Together, Telly and Ash go on a crusade – with Ash being reluctant at first – to try and find out the truth about their children.

That sets the scene….watch it to find out what happens.


As far as the first part of the storyline of The Forgotten is concerned, I was with it 100%. The atmosphere is very well set and the levels of suspense run high as Telly is in an emotional maelstrom, trying against all odds to convince her husband Jim and Dr. Munce, her therapist, that she isn’t going crazy. At this point, the plot is cleverly set, with no initial indication of what road the storyline could travel along.

The acting is very good by most of the cast, with my favourites being Julianne Moore as grieving mother Telly Paretta, and Dominic West as the boozy Ash, who Telly befriends. Julianne Moore conveyed all the right emotions, and not in an over-played way…coming across exactly as a grieving mother in her situation would. I loved Dominic Ward’s portrayal of the rather cynical Ash….a tough guy on the surface, but who shows himself to be a deeper, more complex character as the film progresses.

As far as the musical score is concerned, I honestly didn’t notice it at all, so am unable to pass judgment.

However, The Forgotten wasn’t all plain sailing for me once it really got going. From about one-third into the film and onwards, the storyline began to veer down a path that I wasn’t quite happy with. From the outset, I was very caught up in the story and the whole atmosphere, hoping and believing it would evolve into a tense and gripping psychological drama – the scene had been set, then although it didn’t wander off the point, it changed into something quite different, thus losing a lot of its initial credibility.

From the point where it all began to meander, the only thing which really kept me focused and watching to the end was the rather good acting skills of the two main characters, mentioned above. I was also expecting some kind of twist at the end, but as far as I could establish, there wasn’t one – or, if there was, I blinked and missed it. Me missing any twist is feasible, due to losing most of my interest in the storyline as the film progressed.

There was one thing that irritated me quite a lot throughout The Forgotten, and that was the camera work. Either the person in the camera driving seat was drunk or short-sighted, or perhaps it could have been done deliberately for effect, but it appeared to me that whoever was holding the camera, was jerking it about unsteadily. This was a feature through the whole film that I found disconcerting, as it made my eyes go funny and drew my attention away from the essential parts of the story.

I suppose, and taking The Forgotten as a whole – including the bits where it began to lose credibility – the overall concept of the story is moderately thought-provoking and somewhat unusual, but I feel it could have been presented so much better. It isn’t that the film is in any way confusing, as the storyline is very easy to follow, but perhaps the idea which the team was trying to convey didn’t quite shine through as strongly as it should or could have done.

I can’t pretend that I wasn’t a tad disappointed and disillusioned with The Forgotten, especially as I was so enraptured with the first part….I just wish the remainder had been handled differently.

Overall, The Forgotten is quite watchable, but for me it definitely lost a lot of its original and brilliant promise as the storyline evolved, uncovering various stones that didn’t quite fit together at the end of the day. I therefore doubt if I’d be in a hurry to watch it again, although will give heartiest commendation to the first twenty or so minutes of the proceedings. Chances are high that people who, like me, were initially drawn to the psychological thriller aspect may end up a little disappointed.


At the time of writing, The Forgotten can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-

New: from £1.20 to £3.50
Used: from 1p to £1.75
Collectible: from £1.25 to £2.99

A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.

Thanks for reading!

~~ Also published on Dooyoo under my GentleGenius user name ~~

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Comments on this review

  • snow_drops published 21/10/2016
  • jonathanb published 01/06/2012
    It's a good premise and Moore is always very watchable, but the shaky-cam effect would put me right off this film.
  • 80smusicreviewer published 21/05/2012
    Great review, not a film I am familiar with.
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Product Information : The Forgotten (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Until the very last moments of Joseph Ruben's spooky suspense thriller, viewers will question who's who in the us-versus-them conundrum. We have but one hint: 'It's not about the children'. But as local police, the feds, and other unknowns follow Telly (Julianne Moore), a young mother who refuses to forget the death of her 9-year-old son Sam, it's clear that the children are a hot-button issue. While it's fishy enough that nobody--not even Telly's own husband (Anthony Edwards)--seems to remember Sam, and the plane crash she claims killed him was never reported in the newspapers, it's a question of whose story to believe. And Moore, the frantic mother with madness flickering in her eyes, may simply be delusional, or so her shrink (Gary Sinise) says. But when she finds another grieving parent, Ash (Dominic West), whose daughter died in the same accident, she now has a partner in conspiracy theory. Together, Ash and Telly flee through the damp alleyways beneath the Brooklyn Bridge where steam escapes from potholes and police searchlights penetrate the gothic fog. Somebody knows something about the children, and 'they' want Ash and Telly to forget. THE FORGOTTEN springs into an action-adventure race for the truth, with surprising special effects, exciting jolts, and bird's-eye camera shots on ominous geometric patterns in the urban landscape keeping this mystery in fifth gear.


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