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In: Film and Music

Submitted By swarnimpathak
Words 1599
Pages 7
Answer 1
The best part I liked about the film was its reverse chronological order where the following scene of the movie is actually the preceding scene by timeline. As the events took place, audience had no idea about the cause of the events, thus putting them in the shoes of the lead character of the film. The audience felt a sense of desperation for waiting for next scene. There were many shot transitions that will remain in my memory for long time. Especially the scene where Natalie tried to manipulate Leonard to take revenge from Dodd by telling him that Dodd had attacked her. While in the very next scene it was revealed that it was Leonard who had hit her and Natalie just manipulated his condition of forgetting. I liked this scene because it changed the course of the movie and was a major twist that I didn’t expected. Another part that I found most humorous was when Leonard was running away from Dodd and suddenly had a memory loss and starts believing that he was chasing Dodd. I liked it because of the humor which was build into the situation.
The part that I didn’t like was the ending of the film which turns the protagonist into a murderer and the antagonist of the film. This because as an audience I felt connected with the lead character but when suddenly his pursuit ended at himself and that he was guilty of killing his wife and creating fake stories of Sammy Jankis to protect himself made me as an audience felt cheated by a character whose shoes I was walking in for past 2 hours. This also somewhere breaks the trust with which the audience was following the lead character.

Answer 2
Memento as a film had many underlying messages and themes of human psychology and behaviors. Some key themes and their underlying message that Memento covered were memory, perception, revenge, self deception and grief. The first take of film was on the theme of memory. Not just it talked about the condition of the protagonist who was unable to make memories; it also started in a reverse chronological order ensuring that even the audience doesn’t have any memory about the protagonist’s past. This memory game help in putting the audience in the shoes of the lead character and made them feel as lost and confused as the lead. The film also covered the theme of perception and revenge as it dealt with how the protagonist perceived the world around him about which it did not have any idea and how his only motive was to avenge his murdered wife. The theme of perception in this film was also very critical from direction point of view as it helped in building a perception of the audience towards the lead character and his revenge. Though the facts in the film clarifies that the lead himself killed his wife, he built around a perception that his wife was killed by some John G. and his revenge will be only achieved when he kills him. Other themes like self deception and grief were also very prominent in the movie. The theme of self deception was materialized at the end of the movie, when Leonard had the flashbacks of remembering killing his wife and still, he deceived himself throughout the film by building stories. The theme of grief was touched by the sense of emptiness felt by Leonard due to his short term memory loss and his struggle to survive with a mission in life. This grief only made him pursue a vengeance even after knowing that he himself killed his wife.

Answer 3
Memento is a souvenir that reminds you of past. In this film, Memento symbolized the last piece of memory that the lead character Leonard had about his wife’s death. As he had been unable to keep any memory after that particular incident, his sole mission of life had been based on that particular instance of memory. He believed that his wife died in that incident and that he was supposed to avenge his wife’s death from some John G. Thus the entire plot of the movie revolved around that piece of memory which reminded the protagonist to take revenge for his murdered wife and can this be considered the real ‘Memento’ of the film.

Answer 4
Memento relies heavily on camerawork and framing. Ever since the beginning of the film it creates an effective and dramatic introduction. I would specially mention three camera angles that created a great effect on the audience. These were Extreme Close ups, High Angle, and Camera Panning and Tilting. Firstly the movie utilized tight framing and extreme close-ups. This technique is used in order to keep the focus of the audience limited to the key subjects and not wander around surroundings. These techniques were utilized in the opening scene where Leonard kills the cop and also in following scenes. It helped in building a strong character of the lead and also maintained the sense of confusion and being lost in the mind of audience. Secondly another interesting camera angle that was used was high angle. This angle was used in scenes of motel and gave the feel of spy camera or CCTV, thus making audience feel like spying on the actor. Thirdly, another interesting use of camera angle was use panning and tilting of camera throughout the set while keeping in the tight framing. This multiplied the sense of urgency and confusion that audience felt making them stick to the edge of their seats.
Just like camerawork, the music of this film also plays an important role in creating the drama and interest in the audience. One of the unique techniques used in the music of the film is the use of distinct sound to differentiate between colored and black and white scenes. The music used in colored sequence seems more of brooding and classical while the one in black and white sequence seems more of oppressive noises. Citing certain particular instance I remember the scenes in motel room effectively use silence along with digital noise, making audience connect to the environment of dullness, suspicion and emptiness of the room. Similarly in a scene in the motel room a low, heartbeat sound has been used. This heartbeat communicates a feeling of protagonist’s distress to the audience. Thus we could say that music used in the film do help in communicating a feeling of loss, aimlessness and loneliness to the audience.

Answer 5
There were two instances of time in which the narrative of the movie was revealed to audience. The first instance began with an act of murder by the lead protagonist of the film which was in a way the last event in chronological order. This part moved in reverse chronological order from here. Immediately after this another event at some point of time was shown to the audience where the lead protagonist was in a motel room. This event would be placed first in the chronological order of the film. The film then continued in these two dimensions of time wherein the forward moving story inside the motel was shown in black and white while the story being told in scene by scene reverse chronological order was shown in colored. The story in motel basically focused on building the background of the story where the proceedings took place in form of narration by the protagonist. He revealed the stories about his condition and how he had been controlling it. The other part, which was the reverse chronological depiction of the events, formed the main plot of the film where the protagonist was shown to have been suffering from short term memory losses and thus cannot remember even the things he was doing some minutes ago. The reverse chronology of the events had been kept in order to ensure that the audience also felt in the shoes of the protagonist and was as lost and confused as he was in the film. At last the two storylines merged together and formed the last part of the film. This revealed the suspense behind the murder committed by the protagonist at the beginning of the film.

Answer 6
The most unique thing about Memento was the use of reverse chronological order of storytelling so as to create the element of suspense and twist in the story. Other feature films, which moves in a straight chronology, if they have any element of suspense, it is maintained by keeping the required information secret or unrevealed. While in Memento, the complete information has been revealed in every scene and it’s just the sequencing of the events in reverse chronology that ensures the interest of the audience.
Answer 7
Yes, I think that in order to create movie interesting and impactful for the audience it was necessary to explain the narrative in a reverse chronological order. If the movie had been presented in traditional manner with chronological sequences, it would have made a very dull movie because as a plot it does not have any hidden twist in it and the story was very plain and simple. In fact if the movie hadn’t been made in this order, the audience would have never felt connected with the protagonist’s state of mind and would have missed the experience, thrill and feeling of being is a situation where one has no memory of the past. It is the audience’s connect with the situation of the protagonist which makes this movie and effective and compelling one.

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