I asked awhile back about what I should review next and finally got around to one of them this past weekend….Knight had asked what I would think of Memento…..
Great show, definitely a mind-bender.
The movie is directed by Christopher Nolan (if you haven’t seen this one, you may know him from Insomnia with Al Pacino and a creepy Robin Williams OR the upcoming Batman movie with Christian Bale) and is based on a short story by his brother. Tell ya what, talent runs in this family.
The movie starts out with a murder but not just any murder. This scene plays in reverse. See the victim spin around, see the bullet casing go back INTO the gun, see the gun leap back into the main character’s hand. Crazy stuff, crazy I tell ya.
Memento is the tale of Leonard Shelby, a man who was so traumatized by his wife’s rape and murder that his short-term memory has left him. He can remember all his old memories, everything up to “the event” but can’t form any new memories. His memory only lasts about 10-15 minutes now. Quite an interesting problem but definitely a frustrating one. The main focus of the film is showing how his thirst for vengeance is thwarted by this condition. He has gotten better at keeping track though, he really has. His body is COVERED in tattoos but nothing of the “Mama” type. He uses his body as a huge notepad, keeping track of little snippets of information all over himself. Almost all of his tattoos are written so HE can read them, they’re not for show.
In his prior life (before he became the angel of death), he was an insurance claims investigator and throughout the film, he tells bits and pieces of a man who he was sent to investigate suffering from the same problem that Leonard is currently a victim of. He tells of all the tests that were run on this Sammy Jankis to prove or disprove his memory condition.
The bombshell of the movie comes at the end (big surprise! it’d kinda ruin a movie if you knew the big boom at the beginning!) and it’s worth it.
A very original movie. Definitely worth several repeat viewings to “get it all”.