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|Index||2080 reviews in total|
I was totally blown away by this movie. I think this is a total masterpiece. I wish I could have thought of something as ingenious as this. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys a good mystery, acting, editing, directing, plot. I can and have watched it over and over again. This should have won for best picture the year it came out. Go out and rent it. Go and watch it. Go out and buy it. you will not be disappointed. This movie is about a guy who loses his short term memory and tries to hunt down his wife's rapist and killer. I won't say anything else. It is a masterpiece, thought not perfect it probably should be about a 9.8 on the IMDb but I'll give it a 10 out of 10.
Another cleverly done example of backwards story telling, from the Pulp Fiction school.. Unlike Pulp Fiction, the backwards element got annoying and tiresome fast in this film. It certainly was a creepy film, maybe even affecting (time will tell, since I just watched it), but I didn't find it all that enjoyable. The ending was unsatisfying for me, after sitting through the previous hour and fifty minutes (yes, I found myself watching the clock to count down when it would wrap up). I suppose I could get a bit more out of it with repeated watchings, but I don't really care enough to bother with that. I would give this one a 5/10, although few of you will probably agree with me so let the flames begin!
Just a deception package! In NO WAY this picture is only half as intelligent as it pretends to be. A quite good idea in deed, but after a promising start it gets a heavy-handed, mechanical and predictable bore and a pure letdown, especially because it stays beyond the means. And sorry folks: It really is no achievement to UNDERSTAND this movie -but it sure is to to keep up till the end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I rate this very high on my scale, primarily for its ambition and intellect.
Usually I get annoyed at IMDB comments that report the story as if it were important, but it is here:
---Lenny's home is attacked, wife raped, him injured. He develops this `condition' which has no physical cause. In other words, the condition is invented. The insurance investigator (Sammy Jankins), uncovers him as a fraud by using electrified test blocks. Knowing this, his wife challenges him and he `accidentally' kills her rather than face the condition. Sent to a hospital, he escapes and ties up with the cop who investigated the case. Together, they track down the petty crook and kill him. Over time, the condition becomes more pronounced and embedded. The cop (Teddy) is crooked and exploits Lenny in a doublecross drug deal, getting him to kill Jimmy. Jimmy's girlfriend Natalie also manipulates Lenny to first chase off Dodd (who is looking for the missing money). Lenny decides to get even with Teddy, so plants a seed that he will use later to justify killing Teddy.
---It is essential to know that Lenny was never an insurance investigator, and that his condition is self-delusional. The order and ritual is not to cope with, but to create the condition. Remembering his wife increases the intensity behind the psychosis -- remembering his investigator gives him identity and focus in refining the condition -- knowing all this transforms the idea behind the film into something of genius.
That's because it is deeply self-referential: us looking at a film, especially at a mystery, is just the same as looking at a few polaroids and trying to create/remember a past. Watching movies is self-delusional, and with detective stories it is a game of wits between viewer and writer to outwit and manipulate each other just as here between Lenny and Teddy. (The filmmaker calls us, we shouldn't answer, but we forget.) This film goes further. An actor forms the picture by putting words on it; in the case of acting, the `picture' is the body, so it makes sense for the clue/words to appear on his body.
The combination of the three (words on skin, remembrances of images past, the mind duel with the writer) adds up to a pretty mind-expanding framework. That alone transports the intelligent viewer to another world, a shocking world of self. This makes the film important, and an important film deserves criticism.
So what could be better?
The ink on skin as referential of film acting was done so much more elegantly and deeply with `Pillow Book.' The playing with time was moderately clever compared to the other, deeper games in this film -- but it could have been much more challenging. It could have stuttered (`Limey') could have folded (`Pulp Fiction') could have paralleled (`Run Lola Run') could have spiralled deeper (`Snake Eyes'). Maybe in the next film.
I did not think the eye of the camera was very clever. This had `noirish' writing but not filming. More like the later `DOA' in the black and white would have really spun. The dialog and plot were needlessly simple. If I am going to go to the trouble to displace my mind for a day or two, I want it shifted beyond Jupiter. That the story was so simple was pandering to the dumb masses and annoyed.
But the biggest flaw was our friend Guy. Moss is not a real actress. Guy is, but he's of the rather simple kind, who thinks he plays a character. Consider what this film is: it is a film about films first, and within that we have a character inventing another character and reality. That's three roles in one. Woody Allen made a similar movie so far as this matter: `Sweet and Lowdown.' It was a fake documentary about a guy who created a stage persona which he subsequently adopted. Simple stuff plotwise compared to `Memento.' But it had Sean Penn. Watch Sean play three roles at once, weaving them into a complex multidimensional space. This film was intelligent enough in its conception to warrant such texture, to have the actor remind us that we are him and he isn't.
I just don't understand what it is that makes this movie so popular,
especially with male viewers, I mean 8.6? Come on, what is that?! ...
Leonard suffers from short-term memory loss and tracks back using notes and body parts to find the man who killed his wife. On his journey he encounters a number of people who he has to be able to assess at first sight because of his deficiency.
The acting by Guy Pearce is very convincing and even appealing but the story however is most of the time way too irritating because you constantly have to backtrack yourself in order to completely understand what's going on. I like flashbacks in movies but a film that turns out to be one big flashback by itself may be a little too demanding for me. I guess this is just not my kind of entertainment ...
It eludes me how this movie has gotten such high ratings and even two
This movie is for the most part mind-boggling boring, with endless repetitive sequences of how our main character writes notes, tries to remember certain events or persons. This goes on for about 80% of the movie in an desperate attempt to create "suspense"...but it gets tiresome. The end admittedly had a moderate surprising twist...however, from a certain point of view, the end was also predictable and, somehow, disappointing. The only positive thing about the movie is a good performance by Carrie Ann Moss, however the main character did not convince me, neither did the plot. (If there was one, besides of a repetitive line-up of the character's confusion and attempts by him to puzzle together memories.) This movie is breathtakingly boring and the ending *extremely* underwhelming. One of the movies which is praised about all over, you watch it - and it turns out a huge disappointment.
There are holes in the plot of this movie that should prevent it from receiving the ranking it has in this database (1 of the top 10 all time best movies). In the end, the characters are not sympathetic or interesting enough to warrant the treatment they get in the film. I do not think this is a must see movie for anyone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What I generally look for in a good movie is character development. If
nothing changes in the characters' personalities, I have trouble enjoying
the film, as it loses a certain sense of realism. One method of character
development that I particularly enjoy is that of the "revealing" method,
finding out more about a person's personality by being shown information.
Many people mention The Usual Suspects when reviewing Memento and I can't
help using it as well. This method of character development is used very
well in that movie also, in the twist at the end. I felt that Leonard's
character developed extremely well in that we were shown bits of his
personality at a time and it was not until the end that we found out what he
was truly all about. *Spoiler comment at end*
This film, with its memory-troubled main character, reminded me of a sub-plot in the Kurt Vonnegut novel, The Sirens of Titan, in which the main Character, Malachi Constant, must endure repetitive memory wipes, only knowing what is going on by re-reading a series of notes that he writes to himself.
I was going to mention something else about Memento, but I forgot it. Maybe I should have written myself a note.
***Spoiler comment below***
I really enjoyed the sequence of shots in which Leonard realizes that he's crazy and consciously decides to prolong his fictitious search by leaving himself a note that is, in effect, a lie. The idea of lying to oneself brings up entirely new issues of paranoia that I thoroughly dig.
Will have to count next time i see it, the number of times that Teddy tries to get the keys to Leonard's car. I think it may be as many as six.
small plot hole, the Jaguar's car alarm goes off when the window is shot, but the alarm had not been armed.
Very little substance in this movie, with the gimmick (very well done) of telling the story in non-continuous sequences and almost in reverse order. But it is a frustrating and non-rewarding movie that cheats the audience at every step: a fictitious illness, characters that do things more to startle the audience rather than for a realistic reason, and an ending that is way too predictable and really silly at the same time. Basically, if you told the movie in a normal fashion, it would show more holes than a certain cheese I am fond of.
I write this after having to write a bad review of Nolan's "batman
Begins." "Memento". after more than seven years, remains the most
important English language film of the 21st century. Into it, Nolan
pours all the fundamental problems of film, and the fundamental
problems of memory that gave rise to film in the first place.
It takes about four viewings to get any grip on this film - yet none of these viewings feel wasted in any way, as though the director has played tricks on us - on the contrary, it is the film's bald-face honesty which leaves us in despair of ever getting just the right handle on all the details and the characters.
Its hard to understand how Nolan could have betrayed himself and his vision after this film, by selling out to Hollywood's highest bidders - hopefully, he'll recover and give us the Christopher Nolan film we should expect after seeing this one.
But in any event, this remains one of the most important films ever made - brilliantly written, filmed, acted, edited - a necessary companion piece to Welles' "Citizen Kane" or Eisenstein's "Potemkin" - hopefully, Christopher Nolan will actually direct another film some day....
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