The Memory of a Killer

Director: Eric van Looy

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The Memory of a Killer (De Zaak Alzheimer, 2003) is also known as The Alzheimer Case or The Alzheimer Affair. This is a Belgian thriller from the director of Shades (1999). It follows the last days of professional assassin Angelo Ledda (Jan Decleir) whose rapid onset of Alzheimers is making it tricky to complete his last commission. When he discovers that the victim of his commission is a fourteen year old girl who fantastically bad guys want silenced before she becomes evidence against a ring of pedarasts, Ledda decides instead to kill his employers & whoever else was involved in the ring.

Two police detectives (Koen De Bouw & Werner De Smedt) are hot on on Ledda's trail. One of them doesn't mind so much if pedarasts are killed. The other knows that vigilantism is not justice. And when Ledda proves willing to kill even the innocent in order to reach the guilty, it's pretty clear he does have to be stopped.

Ledda doesn't care if he's caught; he would in fact appreciate being gunned down rather than become a mindless staring entity like his brother who is more advanced in the disease. All that matters is he last long enough to get the guy at the top of the pyramid of villains, a powerful politician.

This is a strong thriller, intelligent in its way. Obviously we'll like a guy who sets out to kill pedarasts & avenge damaged, raped, or murdered children. Of course we sympathize with his terror of losing his memories & admire how he writes notes for himself & arranges a fairly complex plan of destruction that might fail if his memory loses track of any part of the greater plot. But this is no hero. He's a dead-cold professional killer, & our sympathy for the devil stays uneasy to the end.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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