Is Memory Based on a True Story?

Directed by Martin Campbell, ‘Memory’ is a gripping action thriller movie. It follows Alex, a professional assassin who has barely ever missed a target. But when he turns down a job involving child sex trafficking offered by a dangerous crime syndicate, he ends up being on their hit list as well as that of the law. Things get even more complicated when FBI agents and Mexican intelligence discover a trail of murders that may lead them to Alex. However, his main problem is his gradually increasing memory loss, which makes him forget everything about the way he operates.

Trapped from all ends, Alex must now calculate every move of his carefully, to evade a horrible fate at the hands of either the FBI or the enemies in his own business. Starring Liam Neeson, Guy Pearce, and Monica Bellucci, amongst others, the movie entertains the audience from beginning to end with its eventful narrative and realistic depiction of the underworld. Moreover, Neeson’s convincing portrayal of a man with Alzheimer’s makes everyone wonder whether ‘Memory’ is inspired by a real person. If you too wish to know more like us, why don’t we find out together? Let’s begin!

Is Memory a True Story?

No, ‘Memory’ is not based on a true story. It is a remake of the Belgian movie ‘The Alzheimer Case,’ which in turn has been adapted from late detective story writer Jef Geeraerts’ novel ‘De Zaak Alzheimer.’ Both movies and the book touch upon sensitive themes such as the horrors of child sex trafficking and the complications of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, it intricately explores the moral dilemma of a man who otherwise kills for a living but decides to rescue innocent children forced into the trade.

As per the UNICEF’s reports, there was a 25 percent jump in human trafficking cases from 2017 to 2018, and out of that, 1 in 7 cases were likely victims of child sex trafficking. Furthermore, statistics by Save The Children show that 27 percent of all human sex trafficking victims worldwide are children and two out of three are girls. All this data indicates that child sex trafficking is a rampant issue globally and every year, several young lives get trapped in its clutches. ‘Memory’ delves into this very topic and shows the cruelty meted out to victims, wherein they are brutally murdered if they protest.

Actor Liam Neeson is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador himself, and hence, the movie is extremely close to his heart as he has been following the child sex trafficking statistics for several years. In an interview, he shared that he was shocked to read about the harrowing figures in the literature UNICEF sends him, especially the increase in child sex trafficking in Asia following the 2004 tsunami. Therefore he feels that ‘Memory’ is extremely relevant in terms of spreading awareness about the shocking issue.

Apart from this, the protagonist Alex suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s dementia, a degenerative disease that causes memory loss and eventually reduction of movement due to a lack of coordination between the brain and the body parts. To prepare for the character, Neeson observed the mannerisms of a friend who has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia and aimed at bringing those characteristics on-screen subtly to maintain authenticity. He also watched several documentaries on the subject to understand the efforts of caregivers and family members of Alzheimer’s patients.

After emotionally connecting to the intricacies of the disease and its impact, Neeson incorporated mannerisms such as stuttering and visibly shaking hands while holding objects into Alex’s character. Attention to such specifics on the actor’s part has been instrumental in making Alex’s slow progression through the stages of Alzheimer’s seem lifelike in the movie.

On top of that, director Martin Campbell divulged in an interview that he too ensured to add minute details to the character to make his deterioration look more natural. Not only did they talk to specialists on the disease, but they also conducted a lot of research on the same. Campbell would also go through the script and mark how the character would be affected at various points in the story.

Therefore, we can reinstate that ‘Memory’ is not based on any real incident or person but is a rather believable exploration of real-life phenomena and medical problems. The collective efforts of the cast and crew have helped create a dynamic storyline that not just entertains but also touches the hearts of the audience.

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