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
Leonard is able to remember that he has a problem with his memory because he has conditioned himself to look at his "Remember Sammy Jankis" tattoo. Similarly he has conditioned himself to check his pockets for Polaroids to remind himself of other essential day-to-day facts. Alternatively, it could be because Leonard has Korsakov's syndrome, sometimes caused by acute trauma. In some cases the patient knows that they have the disorder. Arguments have been presented both for and against this but, in the end, it's the reality that the movie presents us with and so, for 113 minutes at least, it's true. 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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overused plot + often abused style = best movie of the year
A man with no short term memory tries to solve a murder. The scenes in the movie are played in reverse. Sounds like yet another run of the mill comedy but in reality is one of the best suspense/dramas I've seen in years.
While some may claim showing the scenes in reverse is just an annoying trick to make a simple plot confusing and add a plethora of twists, I wholeheartedly disagree. Any good story teller knows it's not what you say, but how you say it.
By playing the scenes in reverse you experience the confusion Lenny undergoes throughout the film. Showing some of the scenes in chronological order (BTW, the use of B&W instead of color to make the time distinction was ingenious) creates suspense which builds as the two timelines converge. The somewhat rushed pace (compared to a written format) doesn't give you enough time to adequately analyze the events during the movie. This has two advantages: firstly you're going to talk about it after you leave the theater adding to experience immensely, and secondly you don't have time to think about what has happened (will happen) so you're experience better follows that of Lenny.
While many might find the movie rather confusing, it flows wonderfully for anyone familiar with writing styles that constantly jump around a timeline (e.g. Catch 22).
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