"Fugue" is not a word we use very often, so it is not in most vocabularies. Recognizing this, the film makers decided to give us the definition. “A period during which a person suffers from loss of memory, often begins a new life, and upon recovery, remembers nothing of the amnesic phase.” Also provided, “A musical form consisting of a theme repeated a fifth or a forth below the continuing first statement to make a unified final composition.”
With this definition, Fugue’s tone is established, and the score opens us up the journey of piecing together Malcom’s (Jack Foley) life, and provides a tasteful soundtrack to from start to finish. Helen (Laura Tremblay) and Ian (Mike Donis), those posing as wife and friend try to assist with giving him situations, and sharing stories of their times and friendships together. The tensions are subtle enough to make you uncomfortable, and the hidden clues throughout the film gives the illusion of feeling a few steps ahead, an advantage as the observer.
That is when the film shifts on us. The next morning is the previous morning and the story starts all over again, and the film becomes a fugue itself. Though providing a brand new harmony to bring the story more perspective and complexity.
Where Fugue succeeds is that it leaves many mysteries unsolved, not to disappoint, but to perhaps leave you wanting more. It proves, that it is not what you remember that matters, but what you do with the situation given in front of you.
Somewhere within the inspirations of Memento and John Wick, Fugue brings this story to a slower burn and much closer to home. The action is sufficient and effective, allowing nothing to get in the way of taking the audience along. The interactions are intense, but personal and all executed with a tasteful cast providing genuine performances with the right amount of empathy and disdain. When considering the large situations that involve us, it affects those closest to us more than anyone else.