‘Rebecca’ is a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic that was released back in 1940, and centers around a young woman (Lily James) who falls for a rich recently widowed man ‘Maxim’ de Winter (Armie Hammer) and moves to his estate called ‘Manderley’. ‘Maxim’ is curiously silent about the circumstances of his previous wife’s passing, which leads the newly ‘Mrs. de Winter’ (James) to uncover a secret that may undo her perfect ‘Happily Ever After’ with the man of her dreams.
Maybe it’s because we are living in this weird year of 2020, but ‘Rebecca’ to me, simply doesn’t need to be remade. Especially it being a Hitchcock film. Say what you will about adaptations of Disney Properties, live-action or sequels, they typically bring something new. Whether they stick the landing or not is up for debate, but with the ‘Rebecca’ remake, I can only surmise the intent to remake the classic is to reintroduce a ‘Hitchcockian’ suspense thriller to a younger audience that may have never heard of the original. What is ironic about that, is the film’s story involves themes of not being able to live up to the original, and ‘Rebecca’ seems to miss the irony in that by not really enhancing what was given to them.
Lilly James and Armie Hammer are two great actors, and they do get a few scenes to sink their teeth into. I wish we had more suspense between the two, James’s performance throughout the film was engaging for what she had to work with, but the story was losing me as far as it having a slower pace, and thinking the more suspenseful moments are enough to get you to the next act. Armie Hammer is serviceable at best, again not having much to do in the film until the end of the second act where we see the momentum finally shift into a faster gear. Unfortunately that is from gear 1 to 2, and get only gets to 3 with about 10 minutes left of runtime.
Overall, I was not overly impressed with this remake of a classic. The rule of thumb for any remake in my mind is if you’re planning on remaking films and rehashing story-lines you need to bring something new that enhances and builds on the source material. Sadly this did not do so.
I’m giving ‘Rebecca’ a 6/10