I’ve watched two movies recently, both of which were heavily laden with flashbacks. In both cases, I read movie reviews and saw the movie trailers before I watched the movies. In spite of my pre-watch preparation, I found myself confused by the story lines.
In The Accountant (starring Ben Affleck), it was somewhat easier to follow the story line because in the flashback scenes, the actor portraying the much younger Accountant (Ben Affleck ) wore glasses and had short clipped brown hair, just as the grown-up Accountant had.
In Manchester By the Sea, starring Ben’s brother Casey Affleck, the flashbacks were more confusing. It was very obvious the main character has suffered some horrendous loss, but what that was was not revealed until three quarters of the way through the movie, after a lengthy series of flashbacks. In a fairly early scene, the main character goes to a hospital where someone close to him is either ill or has died (Who?). Someone, who could have been his father or uncle or older brother meets him at the hospital, but it takes a while to pick up the clues that this person is a friend, not a family member.
Both movies were interesting, but the stories were really told through flashbacks and that technique can be confusing and even frustrating. It can leave you hungry for a simple story without any flashbacks.
Of course, we all experience our own flashbacks. Here’s one of mine.