MEMORY LANE (2012)
Directed by Shawn Holmes
Made on a budget of just $300, MEMORY LANE is what I’d describe as The Butterfly Effect in a bathtub. Unlike the character of Evan in The Butterfly Effect who could actually change the past and subsequently future, Memory Lane‘s Nick is only able to watch his past with Kayla and try to discover vital clues that could point to her death. Memory Lane has enough of its own unique qualities to work, but unfortunately, they either seemed too rushed or distorted to properly watch them with ease. My main gripe with the film is that the audio isn’t as clear as it could be, leaving me to find myself missing chunks of onscreen conversations. As a film that relies upon emotion as a big drive to why the lead character is killing himself repeatedly, I found this hindered my enjoyment somewhat.
The small cast of MEMORY LANE are pretty decent, with Michael Guy Allen playing the part of former soldier Nick who’s suffering on every level imaginable, both before and after the death of Kayla. His time in the army has left him with stress which is only alleviated once he meets Kayla. She gives meaning and purpose to his life, a chance to be normal and a good person. However, after she is taken from him, Nick struggles to live without her and desperately clings on to his new found way of seeing her again.
Despite its low budget, Shawn Holmes and his team have crafted a fine film. The use of bathtub and light bulbs as Nick’s ‘memory-machine’, if you will, is quite a striking image and each time he is shocked by his pal Ben, the viewer is forced to watch with both shock and amazement. The editing is adequate, even if some of it isn’t entirely seamless, and the little practical effects that are used are subtle and believable.
The MEMORY LANE UK DVD release features director’s commentary and comes with a second disc loaded with extras including deleted scenes, audition tapes, test footage and a couple of short films from Shawn Holmes.