Memento chronicles two separate stories of Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator who can no longer build new memories, as he attempts to find the murderer of his wife, which is the last thing he remembers. One story line moves forward in time while the other tells the story backwards revealing more each time. Written by
The medical condition experienced by Leonard in this film is a real condition called Anterograde Amnesia, the inability to form new memories after damage to the hippocampus. During the 1950s, doctors treated some forms of epilepsy by removing parts of the temporal lobe, resulting in the same memory problems. See more »
Leonard has several tattoos on his chest and arms that he would never be able to read clearly himself; they are not reversed so that he could read them while looking at himself in a mirror, nor are they upside down so that he could read them by looking down at his body. The only person who could read them without difficulty would be someone who was staring directly at Leonard, making these tattoos useless to Leonard himself. See more »
So where are you? You're in some motel room. You just - you just wake up and you're in - in a motel room. There's the key. It feels like maybe it's just the first time you've been there, but perhaps you've been there for a week, three months. It's - it's kind of hard to say. I don't - I don't know. It's just an anonymous room.
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can't believe how much I'm still thinking the day after
So the "innovative" concept of filming out of sequence has been cliche for at least a few years now, but here's a film that makes it work far better than its been shown in a while.
Having read the reviews and talked to others who saw it, I thought that I'd go into the movie figuring everything out right away and declaring the concept unworkable. I couldn't be further from the truth. This movie does things to your head that are illegal in some countries. Portrayed (for all intents and purposes) backwards, it forces you to think in the same way that our lead character, Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce being more brilliant than usual) does. Suffering from a condition that renders him unable to remember anything for more than a few minutes, he is searching for the man who raped and killed his wife. Since each seen lasts no more than 15 minutes before jumping back to the what happened before that, our perceptions are shattered in the same way.
Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano (both of The Matrix) put in great performances that leave you guessing; simultaneously endearing and revolting.
Overall I left the film trying to figure out what was what, and I'm still not sure. This film noir concept shouldn't work, but it does so wonderfully.
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