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Memento, a review and stuff

Updated on July 23, 2015

Introduction

Films. A very amazing art form. They can make us feel so many things like we already do in our daily lives. Sometimes, they make us feel and think very deep things about life, or make us laugh and brighten our mood after a rotten day.

Movies can be very powerful as they can also inspire people, me included. As someone that creates videos on YouTube due to being precisely inspired by the art of filmmaking, I will begin to review movies. Movies that I consider to be my favorites.

I will start with a masterpiece from Christopher Nolan, Memento. Or at least, I think that's how it's called.

I don't remember it exactly. Let me check my notes.


Review? I forgot what that means...
Review? I forgot what that means...

Conclusion

Overall, "Memento" is one of the best movies that I have ever seen.

Its story is interesting, its characters, especially Leonard, are intriguing, its narrative structure is different and the ending is really good.

It is a well-written film and one of Christopher Nolan's masterpieces, in fact, I think it's Nolan's best film.

If you want an interesting psychological thriller that's a bit confusing but interesting and makes you think in order to figure out what's going on, with some chase scenes involved, then this movie's for you.

I highly recommend it.

10/10

"Ma'am, is this my car? Wait, who are you again?"
"Ma'am, is this my car? Wait, who are you again?" | Source

The ending/beginning

The ending/beginning is what made me absolutely love "Memento".

It had one of the best and surprising twist ending that I had ever seen, it's easily just as good as Fight Club's twist ending. In fact, I will even dare say that it actually surpasses Fight Club's twist, but that's just my opinion.

I will not reveal the ending/beginning because that would be a criminal offense in film.

It is something that you must see for yourself.

So, please avoid any spoilers on the internet and just see it, it's that shocking.

"Lenny, you owe me 20 dollars" "Sorry, totally forgot about it"
"Lenny, you owe me 20 dollars" "Sorry, totally forgot about it" | Source

Narrative structure

Besides the plot and characters, another very interesting aspect of the film, probably the first thing that makes it stand out is the story structure.

The entire film's story is told backwards. It begins in a scene that would normally be the end of the movie, but is instead the beginning. After a scene finishes, a black and white scene begins.

The black and white scenes are Leonard mostly talking with someone on the phone in a hotel room, explaining to the person, whoever he/she is, his condition and Sammy Jankis' story.

After a black and white scene ends, another normal color scene begins. Each color scene is an event that happened before the previous color scene, in fact, it ends with what the previous color scene also ended just before it had happened.

I was very intrigued with this kind of narrative structure as I have never seen any movie do anything like this. I mean, I have seen movies such as "Pulp Fiction" where the structure is also non-linear, but it wasn't really backwards, the scenes had a completely random order.

This structure was also completely appropriate to the movie, as it confuses the viewers and makes them analyze every important piece of information while also trying to remember the previous scene which just happened before the previous scene that you just watched and piece them together. This kind of confusion also gives you an idea on Lenny's thought process. With the short-term memory loss he has and all the info. he's trying to piece together to find his wife's killer, it confuses the absolute hell out of him, then he forgets about it. But that's what his trusty notes are for.

"So, you're paying for lunch, right?" "Nope, totally forgotten what "paying" is."
"So, you're paying for lunch, right?" "Nope, totally forgotten what "paying" is." | Source

"Remember Sammy Jankis"

There's also another character in the movie called Sammy Jankis.

Sammy was a man that suffered a car accident and since then, was unable to remember things for more than a couple of minutes.

Watch this video for a more thorough explanation of this character's purpose in the film:

Sammy

Characters

The main characters of the movie are 3, but Leonard Shelby is the absolute main one.

We follow him throughout the film and we see what happens to him all on his perspective. We hear his thoughts and what he plans to do next to find his wife's killer.

Guy Pearce does a fantastical job as Leonard Shelby, he gets you really invested in his character from end to beginning.

You feel sympathy for him because of his condition and because he wants to seek retribution for the death of his loved one, it does a good job of making you put yourself in his shoes as I'm sure we would all, or most of us at least, want revenge if someone takes a loved one away from us. Thus, you really want to see if Leonard finally finds his wife's killer.

Lenny also narrates about himself, about a bit of his past before the accident and the technique that he learned from someone else that helped him cope with his condition.

During his search, he meets 2 other characters that might help him on his investigation.

First, policeman Teddy, played by Joe Pantoliano.

Now, Teddy follows Lenny throughout the film telling him that he should leave town before people start asking questions and he's helped Leonard on some tight spots that he was in.

Out of all the people Lenny meets during his investigation, Teddy is probably the only one that cared about Leonard, everyone else either ripped him off or tried to use him to their advantage. Despite the fact that he also sometimes took advantage of him, he still tried to help Lenny not get into more trouble than what had he caused.

Not to mention that when his wife died and Lenny had suffered the accident, he was the cop assigned to his case.

After Leonard, I found myself interested in this character. Both Lenny and Teddy's interactions on screen had me glued to the movie because of how natural it looked and because of the end results. See, Lenny had killed a drug dealer since he mistook him for his wife's killer, so, other people that wanted the dealer's money would come looking for Lenny since he had stolen his car and bag full of money. What Teddy was trying to do in the film was helping Lenny get out of said situation, he kept warning him to let go of the investigation and to get out of town as he might get into more trouble if those people find him, Leonard, however, for the most part, ignores his warnings since he doesn't really trust him and because he is extremely dedicated to finding his wife's killer.

Which why I was very disappointed after seeing what happened to Teddy in the end.

Next, Natalie, played by Carrie-Anne Moss.

Natalie was the girlfriend of the drug dealer Lenny killed.

Leonard met her at a bar she works at and told her about his investigation, she offered to "help" Lenny both out of pity and to help her get rid of the guy his boyfriend owed the drug money to, mostly because of the latter.

Natalie was very manipulative to Lenny, she took advantage of his short-term memory loss to get him to get rid of the previously mentioned person, called Dodd. There were moments in the movie where Lenny stayed at Natalie's place for a few days and it almost looked like they were going to become lovers since they even slept together in the same bed.

However, even though they kissed one time, they never really had any serious intimate moment, in the end, they never got together and I don't think they could either since Leonard was much more focused on finding John G. than anything else.

"What's Fight Club?"
"What's Fight Club?" | Source

Introduction

This review will contain SPOILERS (well, little of them), so if you haven't seen it yet, please avoid this article because nothing beats watching it the first time.

Anyway, director Christopher Nolan in recent years has become one of the most famous and talented film directors ever. His movies are one-of-a-kind. With the Batman films, he was able to achieve the fame that he now has.

But, back in the year 2000, Nolan wasn't well-known, in fact, he was just getting started in the film industry. Before "Memento", he only did 1 film back in 1998, "Following", made in the UK.

With "Memento", he moved to the USA and was, like "Following", an independent production.

The film is about a man suffering from short-term memory loss called Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce, that happened because he suffered an accident thanks to a pair of junkies that broke in to his house and also killed his wife. Since then, he cannot make new memories yet he can remember everything and everyone before his accident.

What Lenny here wants to do is to find the man that killed his wife, the only lead he got was a name "John G." Of course, his "condition", as Lenny calls it, limits him from remembering the information that he receives that might lead him to his wife's killer. So, for that, he writes down notes, puts tattoos on his body and uses a Polaroid camera to remember the people that he met.

"Let's give this John G. investigation a shot." "Seriously Lenny? You still remember puns?"
"Let's give this John G. investigation a shot." "Seriously Lenny? You still remember puns?"

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