Movies have to make a difference.
We have probably heard that many times. Different filmmakers broadcast such an important message, and each materializes their own view of it.
Whatever the outcome, it is crucial to believe that “should” to understand the purpose of a film like Not to forget, Valerio Zanolis warm-hearted and star-studded, girlfriend of a movie. This is not a film that seeks ambition by putting its prominent elements at the forefront of an independent film. Zanoli’s mission is smart, but that does not mean he approaches his venture with a superficial view. On the contrary, the story in Not to forget is what will definitely stay with you.
Not to forget is the story of Chris, a self-centered young man who has jumped from one nursing home to another. He is involved in petty crimes, and even when he decides to represent himself in a court hearing, he is not aware of the judge. It’s until one day, a very smart judge (Olympia Dukakis in his last role) decides to “punish” him in another way: he must live with his grandmother and take care of everything he can. Away from everything, his past life, his friends and everything that has made him a spoiled brat.
His grandmother Melody (Karen Grassle in a fine performance) suffers from Alzheimer’s. There is a man who takes care of her and he forces Chris to do hard work. When he discovers that his grandmother is very, very wealthy, he comes up with a plan. He and his friends decide to do everything to get the money. But as secrets from the past emerge, things change for Chris. Maybe it’s time to leave that part of his life.
At times awkward (the comedy tone is hard to relate to the film’s ultimate goal), but emotionally powerful, Not to forget is a man’s bid on how a film can create awareness on a very important topic. This is not a documentary with thousands of testimonies. Nor is it based on the perspective of an elderly person suffering from something they cannot understand. The writer / director turns the wheel and innovates with a risky attitude: the attitude of a young, selfish millennial who cares about him and nothing else.
It’s risky because being traditional in this subgenre guarantees a watch from a regular audience. Not to forget is not traditional and still carries more heart and emotional strength than many movies out there. Alzheimer’s is a problem that is more common than you might think. When a movie speaks to us with a well-founded script and does not even try to color what is very real, it’s hard not to see.
Maybe you’ve heard of Not to forget because its cast contains 5 Oscar winners (Tatum O’Neal, Louis Gossett Jr., George Chakiris, Olympia Dukakis and Cloris Leachman), and it is the last performance of Dukakis and Leachman. Zanoli has done his job right in creating such a film with a dramatic backbone that guarantees the power of the stage.
Nevertheless go beyond. There is something to talk about after crediting. We must recognize the existence of a disease and understand how it works. If a movie can help you with this, then it should be welcomed. Who knows, maybe it will help you at some point in your life. That’s when a movie triumphs. When it becomes permanent. Not many independent films have the opportunity to do this, so what do you say, we take a look at the other side of the cinema, the one that will mean something in the immediate, and not so immediate future?