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Film

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AmnesiA is a Dutch film so true to its title that I’ve forgotten many of the details already—and I just saw it this morning. (Released Netherlandically in 2001, this latecomer has been rendered completely obsolete by Memento.) Actually, the A-word’s something of a misnomer: Given the humongous gravity of the life-altering crime that the twins Alex and Aram (both played by Fedja van Huêt) committed as children, textbook trauma repression seems dazzlingly unrealistic, to say the least. Aram, a black-hearted but quirky criminal—he wears suits, but no socks or shoes—lives at home with their dying mother, whom he forbids to see a doctor. In the dead of night, he phones photographer bro Alex to come see them at the estate, enigmatically dubbed “AmnesiA.” Alex drives over with his mysterious pale girlfriend (Carice van Houten), who later reveals herself as an epileptic. The moderately creepy atmosphere quickly fades as the bogus tension between the brothers escalates. One van Huêt is dull enough; doubling this Dutchman just about bangs the coffin shut. He’s so Jekyll-and-Hydeous that one wonders if Alex and Aram are meant to be two aspects of the same tortured soul—but no such luck. As is, AmnesiA‘s most startling moment is when the twins bandy about the word pleonasm, which sounds almost the same in Dutch.

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