Comparison of Point Blank and Memento (Dealing with Nior Surrealism)
English and Literature
Submitted By yacteenj
Writing in the Disciplines
November 20, 2014
CE – 3
Christopher Nolans Memento and John Boormans Point Blank films are both crime fiction films in which each tell the story of a mans personal and ludicrous life mission. Leonard Shelby from Memento and Walker from Point Blank go through life a crisis that deals with the search for their enemies and deeper life issues. The characters share a life issue of fear, the fear of dying before picking up the broken pieces of their lives. The surrealism with both characters deals with their own ideas of who their wives murderer/abductor are. The obsession of the search creates surrealism distracting the characters from reality causing them to make up ideas of what happened. Irrational decisions like murder and burying their truths are made all while playing by their own rules to mask their thoughts.
In Point Blank Walker is the one man show in his anti-hero protagonist role, out against the people who have done him wrong and stole from him. The start of Walkers madness is shown in the beginning of the film when he realizes his wife and friend were the ones who left him for dead. Walker sets out to find his failed assassin with no regards of who dies. He had set goals in mind, to bring justice to the man who shot him and to get his money back. First, his wife and her abductor die. Walker seemed to be untouched by this. This does not stop him. He is determined to retrieve what was once his. Like falling dominos Walker greets each villain one by one with a firm request for his ninety thousand dollars backed up with the threat of their lives. We see his demand for the money always fail, so Walker instinctively kills whomever it is telling him no. Walker is dealing with an array of emotions putting a fog on his reality in regards that perhaps the money is not worth the lives he takes. One may ask if his anger stemmed from the money or the fact that he has been made a fool of, leading him to relentlessly prove himself otherwise. Either way we see Walker extremely lost in his reality doing what he thinks will make him feel better. But actually the surrealists of the situation are causing his reality to be more stressful, causing the increase in killing.
Memento deals with a huge issue of confusion by Leonard becoming a puzzle that he needs to solve. Leonard is the main character who is trying to catch his wife’s murderer. The couple went through a traumatic situation where his wife was raped and from what Leonard can remember, killed by the same people. We know his wife really was raped but what Leonard could not remember or admit is that he really killed his wife with insulin. After the rape we are told Leonard got into a car accident that caused anterograde amnesia. The truth of this situation is that Teddy, the cop, and Leonard found his wife’s rapist already. At the time when they found the man, the rapist cracked Leonard’s skull, causing his brain deformity. We see Leonard completely detached from reality throughout the film, trying to solve a puzzle that has already been solved. Towards the end of the movie Leonard kills a man he was convinced was the man he was looking for. Right after he killed the man he told himself that this actually was not the man, for the man was still out there. Leonard was right about one thing, the man he just killed, was the wrong man. Teddy comes to the scene soon after Leonard has already killed this man. Leonard, not remembering Teddy, becomes chaotic towards him. Teddy finally tells Leonard the truth about the case and how he already killed his wife’s rapist and at the same time flooding his brain with facts that Leonard neglected to believe. We see the flash backs of Leonard giving his wife insulin shots as Teddy is telling Leonard the truth with Leonard still denying it. Lost in complete surrealism, we realize Leonard is only going to believe his own thoughts in his own altered reality. Concluding with the burning of pictured evidence he would need to remember, and his new mission to kill Teddy who happened to also be John G. Leonard is convinced to only trust his own ideas. It seems as though he cannot do otherwise because he disregards any memory that alter his surreal perception.
Both films show the mission of the anti- hero protagonist seeking vengeance for their wives murder or abductor. Memento and Point Blank’s anti- hero protagonist are lost in their surreal realities, desperately trying to understand what exactly happened and how they can fix it, for themselves. Convinced with what they know to be true causes a series of unfortunate events for both characters. But the fact that each character had real trouble distinguishing what was real and what was not makes for the surrealistic events throughout each film. We see the directors using flashbacks, and dreary filming to contrast the reality and the characters surreal issues to portray the loss of reality and to help viewers understand the factualness of these situations, which is that each character was running away from their own fears of death.