Memento (4/14/12)

MementoMovie Eighty Five

Memento is the type of movie that plays with your mind so much that you may want to immediately watch it again as soon as the credits start rolling. After their success with the Batman franchise, I think the Nolan brother’s other films  have gotten the proper attention than when they were released.

There is literally no other film like Memento and there are few who could write or direct a film as interweaving without making a total mess of things. The continuity alone could destroy a film like this. Luckily for us, Memento may be confusing to follow but it is a taut psychological thriller.

The film happens in reverse order and are spliced between a scene that happens in regular time. The two timelines eventually become one at the film’s climax. The main character, Leonard (Guy Pearce), sustained an injury and has a condition that prevents him from retaining any short term memories. He does, however, remember everything that happened up until his injury, including the rape and death of his wife. His mission is vengeance for his wife, but his condition makes this tricky. He keeps notes and Polaroids to help as well as tattoos, but we soon learn his methods are not perfect and the people around him may be deceiving him on purpose.

When a film has a reverse sequence of events it is usually hard to surprise the audience, but Memento does. Information is slowly trickled to us and things begin to make sense for us, but it’s easy to forget some things that just happened, much like Leonard’s condition.

While not a perfect film, Memento makes it hard to dislike. What could easily feel gimmicky or cliche is done with care and will likely leave you second guessing everything you are seeing happen in front of you. Few films can present everything in a manner that shows but also deceives without going over your head. Be sure to pay close attention when watching for all the clues.

I give it 5 Memento timeline explanations out of 5. (spoiler warning for those that haven’t seen the film)


Rotten Tomatoes


36 responses to “Memento (4/14/12)

  1. “While not a perfect film, Memento makes it hard to dislike. What could easily feel gimmicky or cliche is done with care and will likely leave you second guessing everything you are seeing happen in front of you.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Even if you are determined not to like it, you’ll still be engrossed in the plot. Love this film. Great review.

  2. Yeah buddy, this movie is an absolute trip. A buddy told me to watch it earlier this year, and I was not disappointed. Great post, and great description of the movie over-all 🙂

  3. I like the fact that you reference the Nolan brothers. Chris is a genius filmmaker, but his writing partner and brother Jonathan needs a lot of the credit. I’m glad that Jonathan is finding success on TV with “Person of Interest.”

    • It’s something that has irked me since the release of Dark Knight. I’m not sure why other teams of brothers get that credit (Farrelly brothers, Coen brothers, Wachowski brothers when they were both still men) and the Nolans are fragmented from it.

      • I don’t think that Jonathan takes part in the actual directing of the movies, whereas the other brother pairs actually work together in planning camera movements and overseeing cast and crew. The first group that was able to get multiple credit was the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrams for “Airplane.” They had to petition the DGA, because up to that point only one person was allowed to take a directing credit, and they had to prove that all three of them were equally involved with the directing.

  4. Just another movie by a great filmmaker. I think we are seeing the start of a Scorsese or Spielberg type career. Nice to hear you mention his brother. I agree, he doesn’t get enough credit. I forget to mention him myself sometimes.

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