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

FIRST IMPRESSION

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.
Directing
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.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

The Flash | First Five | Season Trailer | The CW

Stream the first five episodes of The Flash, free only on The CW App: http://go.cwtv.com/genFLAyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About THE FLASH: Based on characters from DC's The Flash. After the S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator explosion, a dark matter lightning storm strikes Central City C.S.I. Barry Allen, bestowing him with super-human speed. For now, only a few…

Mr Inbetween | Season 2 Ep. 10: Nice Face Preview | FX

Enemies may come and go and so, alas do friends. Subscribe now for more Mr Inbetween clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Mr. Inbetween is an FX original comedy series created by and starring Scott Ryan as Ray Shoesmith – a father, ex-husband, boyfriend and best friend. Tough roles to juggle in the modern age. Even harder when you’re…

Cake | Lost and Found Preview | Season 1 Ep. 8 | FXX

Wherever you go, there you are. Subscribe now for more Cake clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX 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 both new and established, this half-hour weekly showcase features live-action and animated comedy programs of…

Bond, James Bond | Prime Video

Your mission: binge all of 007’s adventures available now on Prime Video » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Prime Video: Want to watch it now? We've got it. This week's newest movies, last night's TV shows, classic favorites, and more are available to stream instantly, plus all your videos are stored in Your Video Library. Over 150,000…

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings | Official Trailer | Netflix

Eight Dolly songs. Eight Dolly stories. Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings is an anthology series that showcases the stories, memories, and inspirations behind her most beloved songs. Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings premieres November 22, only on Netflix. https://www.netflix.com/title/80244846 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 158 million paid memberships in over 190…

Screening Room: Ford v Ferrari (Sneak Peek) | HBO

Join Christian Bale, Matt Damon, and director James Mangold in HBO's screening room for a sneak peek of the new movie Ford v Ferrari. #HBO #ScreeningRoom Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Don’t have HBO? Order Now: https://itsh.bo/GetHBONow Get More HBO: Get HBO GO: https://play.hbogo.com Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HBO Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBO Like on…

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia | Artemis: Actor. Lover. Dealer | FXX

Hit Artemis with your best shot. Subscribe now for more It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In the 14th Season of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the Gang goes to extremes. Mac learns a new language, Charlie does a period piece, Dennis attempts a one-act play, Dee cuts her hair, and Frank performs a…

Sesame Street (2019): 50th Anniversary Promo | HBO

Celebrating 50 years and counting with everyone's favorite furry friends. The Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Celebration premieres November 9th at 7PM, and new episodes begin November 16th, on HBO. #HBO #SesameStreet Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 For almost five decades, Sesame Street has been helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. The groundbreaking show…
Avatar
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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here