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Memento Review

In: Film and Music

Submitted By eko1991
Words 647
Pages 3
In the history of film there has never been a movie quite like Memento. Some people may simply see an average, but confusing film here. But you must dig deeper, and you must go beyond Memento’s surface to see the pure genius. Once you see the genius of Memento I want you to keep digging deeper to discover one of the most inventive modern masterpieces of today. This is one of those films in which it will often be imitated, but will never be duplicated. When is the last time you saw a film that challenges everything you know, but only to have it all stripped away in the end? Director Chris Nolan takes away everything you thought you knew of the traditional sense of film, and supplies you with a completely new fresh take on things.

Memento is all about Leonard aka Lenny (played by Guy Pearce). Leonard suffers from short-term memory loss. His memory loss is so frequent he can never remember anything he has just learned. Add this to the fact he is searching for his wife’s killer, and you have a recipe for something unsettling. The story is so deeply layered, and intertwined, you must pay full attention, because every moment you will discover something new. Add to the facts, every scene of the movie is played in reverse chronological order. Imagine your favorite movie, and now imagine seeing the last 10 minutes 1st, then after the last 10 minutes is played you’re taken back to see the events 10 minutes before it. This cycle keeps repeating throughout the whole entire movie. What fun is it to give away the ending in the beginning? Oh, lots! Because Memento takes away what you think you may have known, but shows things are not what you once thought.

As I mentioned before, Leonard has short-term memory loss. While confronting the people who broke into his home, Leonard was knocked in the head by his attackers. In return the bump created this condition of memory loss. The same attackers who broke into his home also raped and murdered his wife that same day. Leonard suffered the bump in attempt to salvage her. The whole plot is about revenge, and Leonard’s search for closure not just for himself, but for his wife as well.

How will Leonard complete his goal of revenge if he cannot remember? Over the course of the movie Leonard is seen with many types of notes for memorization. Keep in mind his last memory is of his wife dying. He has tattoos all over his body reminding him of his goal. You see “find him and kill him” across his chest. Other tattoos show some of the clues he has discovered in who he believes is his wife’s killer. Leonard also carries notes, and pictures of people with notes attached. The most frequent face besides Leonard’s face is Teddy’s. At the very start of the movie we see Teddy die. Over the course of the movie we start to see how Leonard grew suspicious of Teddy, and we see all the evidence leading up to why Leonard killed Teddy in the beginning of the movie.

When Leonard first appears, you see him in a business suit, with fresh scratch marks on his face. You never realize all the tattoos, and memory loss hidden below. Director Chris Nolan does a great job in slowly revealing the many layers he has put on to the character. An example, we see a picture of Teddy shortly before he is killed. Under the picture there is a note saying “Teddy is the one, don’t believe his lies.” As time moves backwards, the movie moves forward, and we start to see why these notes were added. We start to discover the evidence Leonard has against Teddy, and how maybe Teddy isn’t the one after all.

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