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Sundance 2019 Film Review: “Relive” (2019) ★★★


© 2018 – Sundance Institute

With so many films that offer an opportunity for the character to relive the same moment all over again, it seems like a cliché and an overused concept. However, that did not happen with Jacob Estes’ “Relive” starring David Oyelowo in the lead role. Even though it appears that you know what will happen next, surprisingly, the film manages to stun with its unpredictability, creativity, and with a twisted ending.

“Relive” follows a Los Angeles detective, Jack Radcliff (David Oyelowo), who shares a special bond with his niece, Ashley (impressive Storm Reid). After getting a strange phone call from her, he rushes home to find her, his brother, and his wife killed. As he tries to cope with the loss and find some clues, he receives another strange call, from the same niece who died. At first, he thinks that he’s just gone mad and her phone call is just his brain playing tricks on him. However, after running a few tests, he indeed realizes he is not being tricked. But if he is not, and Ashley’s call is real, then who died days ago?

“Relive” is an interesting suspenseful thriller that tries to find something new in an already overused concept. You literally will have to wait till the end to figure out the clues. As for the performances, David Oyelowo never disappoints with such ease when it comes to portraying emotionally overwhelming characters. But it is the exceptionally talented Storm Reid that owns the film and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Her Ashley is smart, determined, convincing, and brave. And more importantly, you will never stop caring about her nor being worried too much because no matter what “Relive” has to offer, with such an interesting character as Ashley, you will never have a second doubt about her ability to succeed.

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