Review: TELL ME WHO I AM Explores A Sad Yet Hopeful Mystery


Tell Me Who I Am has a riveting story at its core, and even though it does lean a bit too heavily into the mystery, the emotional core is strong enough to drive the film as a whole.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Tell Me Who I Am, directed by Ed Perkins, is a new documentary film exploring the stranger-than-fiction true story of twins Alex and Marcus Lewis. A fascinating, if sometimes heavy-handed exploration of the role that memory plays in one’s life, this documentary is sure to be extremely resonant on an emotional level.

The movie tells the story of Alex Lewis and his twin brother Marcus as Alex suffers a traumatic motorcycle accident resulting in amnesia, and Marcus, the only person Alex remembers, is left to help put the pieces back together. The story of Alex and Marcus is specific and unique enough that it makes for a very cinematic documentary, albeit one that feels almost too personal to the point that one has the sense that they shouldn’t be watching it.

Perhaps the only significant issue with the film is that it attempts to create a mystery out of the story. Granted, this approach seems like the obvious one to take because of the subject’s lost memories, but the more interesting part of Alex’s arc isn’t his journey to uncover the past. Rather, the more compelling storyline is the relationship between Alex and Marcus and how Alex’s accident drew them closer together.

That said, the over-emphasis on the mystery prevents the movie from having the emotional impact that it likely otherwise could have had. Though the ending is certainly very impactful and resonant, the fact that the film keeps building to a big secret being revealed allows the audience to predict what the secret is going to be. While still shocking, the movie ends up dragging towards the middle as viewers are left wanting the reveal to come.

tell me who i am beach
Marcus and Alex Lewis in Tell Me Who I Am, directed by Ed Perkins. Image courtesy of Netflix.

Marcus and Alex are definitely very interesting subjects, and Perkins does an excellent job of building the dynamic between them in an interesting way. Since much of what is being discussed in the film is personal and weighty, the viewer very much feels like an outsider to the situation. Nevertheless, Perkins draws the audience into Alex and Marcus’s world by allowing them to tell their own story.

Perhaps the most important thing to gain from this story is the importance of having someone else in one’s life. Alex and Marcus rely on each other for support, and this is what effectively allows them to conquer all of their frustrations and struggles. With this, a story that otherwise seems very bleak and depressing instead becomes one infused with hope about the wonder of the human will.

On a technical level, the movie is quite strong. The cinematography and editing are quite good, giving the film a very elegant feel. Although a majority of the movie is told via interviews, some archive footage and a few re-enactments are used to supplement the stories told by the Marcus twins. That said, these interviews are captivating enough to tell the story on their own.

Despite some issues in the first half, Tell Me Who I Am manages to be a compelling documentary thanks to the profoundly touching story at its core. Full of emotion, this is definitely one of the saddest films to come out this year, yet its sense of hope ultimately triumphs.

Tell Me Who I Am opens in theaters and hits Netflix on October 18.


Psychotown – V.R. | Cake | FXX

Out of the womb and straight into a V.R. set is the only way to prepare your kids for real life. Subscribe now for more Cake clips: Cake is a handcrafted assortment of bite-sized content served up to viewers as a tasty treat for the mind. Featuring a diverse array of narratives from storytellers…

Into the Night | Official Teaser | Netflix

INTO THE NIGHT begins with a sudden solar event: as the sun inexplicably starts killing everything in its path. There are a few ‘lucky’ passengers and crew of an overnight flight out of Brussels, as they attempt to fly west — into the safety of the dark night. The seemingly ordinary travelers share but one…

Better Things | Season 4: Growing Up on Better Things Inside Look | FX

They've grown so much together. Get an INSIDE LOOK at the evolution of the Fox family with the cast. Subscribe now for more Better Things clips: Better Things is the story of Sam Fox, a single mother and working actor with no filter, raising her three daughters in Los Angeles. She also looks after…

Mrs. America | Season 1: Shirley Preview | FX

Tell it like it is. Watch Mrs. America April 15, exclusively on FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Mrs.America clips: Mrs. America recounts the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and the unexpected backlash led by Phyllis Schlafly, aka “the sweetheart of the silent majority.” Through the eyes of the women…

Outlander | Ep. 5 Clip ‘Welcome Home, Soldier’ | Season 5

Claire considers the forces that brought her back to Jamie in this clip from Outlander Season 5, Episode 5. Watch new episodes of Outlander Sundays only on STARZ. #Outlander #STARZ Watch Outlander now on the STARZ App: Subscribe now for more Outlander content: Like Outlander on Facebook: Follow Outlander on Twitter: Follow…

Stargirl | Destiny | Extended Trailer | The CW

Stargirl premieres Tuesday, May 19. Stream free next day only on The CW! SUBSCRIBE: About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico. Connect…

Discussing Beta’s Reaction to Alpha’s Death | Talking Dead: Season 10, Episode 14: Highlights

In a special edition of Talking Dead, Ron Funches, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Ryan Hurst join Chris Hardwick to discuss how Beta handled Alpha’s death. Watch more Talking Dead: Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: #TalkingDead #TheWalkingDead #TWD THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: Follow The Walking Dead…

TWD Moments YOU Can’t Stop Watching | Fans Have Spoken

Watch some of the most memorable moments from The Walking Dead, submitted by fans! Watch from The Walking Dead: Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: #TWD #TheWalkingDead #FanFavorites THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: Follow The Walking Dead on Twitter: Visit The Walking Dead Official Site:…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here