A film that'll haunt you after you've seen it
Every now and then a few films will come out that'll redefine the standards of what a movie is, and "Memento" is definitely one of those rare films. Christopher Nolan's dark direction for this film has audiences constantly guessing what's going to happen next while Guy Pearce and the rest of the cast deliver spectacular performances. The film is about a man, Leonard (Guy Pearce) on mission to find and seek revenge against his wife's murderer. However, Leonard suffers from a short term memory loss preventing him from constructing new memories due to an attack when he tried to stop his wife's murderer. Thus, he can only remember who he is and everything leading up to the incident, but he can't remember anything for more than two minutes after that. The only flaw this film does suffer from is that it may come off too disturbing for the faint of heart, but it's definitely worth seeing. "Memento" is by far the best film of 2001 by creating the idea that memories of one's past isn't always accurate as we may remember them and questioning the nature of human compassion.
The concept of this film is simply brilliant because the it's shot entirely backwards, so it creates a mystery about what's going on that keeps the viewer constantly in suspense. Through this perspective the viewer is given the ending, at the beggining, to the movie, but he/she is unaware of how everything ended up this way until they see the entire film. Around the middle of the film, Carry Anne-Moss is portrayed as Leonard's friend in his quest for vengence. However, as the audience watches the film, they soon discover that she is not what she seems. Hence, why the backwards editing works to create a dark atmosphere riddled with mystery. Along with Nolan's brilliant direction, the film redefines what movies are supposed to be.
Christopher Nolan dark direction for this movie helps to create a modern film noire feel and allowing the audience to be left guessing. Using popular themes of man vs. man and man vs. himself, he creates an environment full of deceit and revenge. In the man vs. man theme, Leonard is constantly searching for his wife's killer at any cost. However, the story gets really interesting with the man vs. himself theme because through that perspective the director has audiences question just how accurate memories can be. For example, at the beginning of the movie, he tells story of another man who suffers from short term memory loss that's married to a woman with diabetes. However, as you watch the film, it turns out it was Leonard's wife that had diabetes. Throughout various scenes Nolan uses the great performances by his cast to create such a powerful film.
Guy Pearce's performance in this film was portrayed very well. Through his performance, he was able to make his character, Leonard, seem ultimately human enough for most viewers to identify with. By displaying a lot frustration and doubt to the character, Pearce manages to dish out possibly the best performance of his career.
Carry Anne-Moss' performance was worth noting as well. She plays a woman that uses and manipulates Leonard in the film. In one moment of the film, she has the viewer believing she's a sweet friend, and the next she'll have the viewer thinking of how much of a bitch she is. Carry portrays a wide range of flexibility for this film that helps make this movie a classic.
Every once in a while a film will come and redefine what a film is, and "Memento" is one of those movies. Everything from the concept of the film to the acting is simply brilliant. Nolan's direction along with epic acting performances create a powerful film. "Memento" is the best film of 2001 by portraying that memories aren't always as accurate as we may remember them and the questioning of human nature.