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Memento is one of the most original, and stunning movies I have ever seen. Memento is close to an epic masterpiece. They take a simple plot, and mix it up with all these different chronologically strategies. (This time using several chronologically mixed scenes). One man wanting revenge for those who killed and raped his wife, his memory the only thing stopping him. But Memento takes you through a journey of strategy, notes, pictures, black-mail and surprises. It certainly lives up to the hype, and remains as Nolan's best movie. A guarantee I can almost give to all viewers is that: they'll be things that seem a little mixed up after your first viewing, that's normal. I have watched Memento two times, closely and yet, still they're a few unanswered questions. Memento delivers in all aspects, a intriguingly thriller with an opinionated ending.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First time I saw this movie, I got a little confused, but, at the same
time, I was amazed by the director Chris Nolan's work. The history is
so fantastic and the format of the movie is so audacious that i became
a real fan, bought the movie and watched it every day for like two
Nolan talks to us in the movie through the little details. The space in Lenny's chest is one that becomes interesting in, at least, three different moments: when he shows it to Natalie at her place, when he sees himself pointing at it in a Polaroid picture and in the end, when he remembers his wife while going to the tattoo shop. In this last scene, the space appears filled with the message "I've done it". I believe this blank space summarizes his pointless odyssey, I mean: it will always be blank, although he knows, deep inside, that it should be filled with that message. It is a proof that he won't stop.
The way Lenny feels his hand aching as he speaks to Natalie (after beating her), the way all people use him to their own purposes, the little details that prove that Sammy Jankins' history is his own (the scene with a needle that flashes his mind as he lays on Natalie's sofa and the talking with Teddy in the end/beginning), his deepest reflections about his condition ("How am I supposed to heal if I can't feel time?" or "I can't remember to forget you"), all those elements are the ingredients for this real masterpiece. A movie that proves to us in a weird, yet ingenious, way how we lie to ourselves to live, how far can we go to give our lives a meaning and face the awful truth.
Christopher Nolan is a magician. No other way to put it.
This movie ended up on my top ten list when I saw it a few years ago. It is one of the most original thrillers to have come from America and it supposedly became popular solely on the basis of word of mouth.
Leonard Shelby(Guy Pearce in an excellent performance) is a man who has short term memory loss. He is a man on a mission. He is determined to find out who killed his wife. He has various ways to remind himself of small facts - writing them on notes and sticking them on the wall, tattooing facts on his body and so on. The story also involves two other characters - Natalie and a man named Teddy who seems to have a shady past. There is also the story of Sammy Jenkis which is told in bits and pieces by Leonard in disjointed scenes. Sammy also had the same problem which led to Sammy being placed in a mental institution.
The main feature of this movie is that it goes backwards. Which means that the scene that follows is actually the incident which happens prior to the current situation. This is quite demanding for the viewer and people with short attention spans may not appreciate this movie so much. Repeated viewings may be required to actually understand what is going on in the movie.
What I liked about the movie was the fact that despite the complex and confusing style, it is ultimately a movie which is not inaccessible. It is no art film which might bore viewers to tears. It is a fast moving thriller which can keep a viewer hooked and this is what separates Memento from other such complex thrillers. Most importantly, it is the little facts and clues that are the most interesting. The loose ends are tied up expertly at the end with such brilliance that I am still at awe at the execution even several years after watching this movie.
Overall, it is in fact quite depressing. There is not one likable character in this movie, except for Leonard, and we see how his medical condition is used by people to serve their own interests. It presents a bleak view of human nature, in many ways.
As far as the performances are concerned, Guy Pearce is fabulous as the determined but confused Leonard Shelby. Carrie Anne moss is brilliant as the mysterious Natalie who may have other motives in helping Leonard. She has the right kind of mix of beauty and mysteriousness which make her perfect for the role. Joe Pantaliano as Teddy makes a big impact in this movie. His dry humour and screen presence make this role one of my favourite performances on film.
Altogether, it is one of the best films of recent years and it is exactly the kind of movie I like.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Imagine you're in a bathroom and you see a bottle of whiskey. And you
have to question whether that means you're drunk.
Imagine a woman gets you so angry you hit her in the face and bloody her lip. She walks out of the room, but returns in a few minutes. You ask her who hit her and she tells you some other guy's name. You vow to punish that guy.
Imagine you're running down the street. Some other guy is running too. At first you think you are chasing him. Then, he fires a gun at you and you realize you are the one being chased.
This is Leonard's problem. He's out to find and kill the man who killed his wife. But he can't remember what happened five minutes ago. He uses notes, tattoos and Polaroids to keep track of information he has learned. But some of this information is wrong.
And get this Leonard's mission of revenge is told in scenes that are backwards-sequenced.
Ingenious. That's the only word to describe this outstanding puzzle movie. Anyone unwilling to devote very close attention to a film should avoid this one. Those willing will find it immensely rewarding.
I like highly contrived movies. Ironically, I'm not a big science fiction fan because I like the contrivances to be within the realm of present-day plausibility, if that makes any sense. If you share that sensibility, check out "Memento."
This is my 1st review on the site and I have chosen this masterpiece of
a movie to review.
I have seen movies in my life with an innovation factor whether its the characters, the plot, the directing or even the soundtrack, but this movie deserves to be a great, clear contender in the innovation land.
Since the 80s, we are tired as viewers of clichés regarding protagonists or antagonists and this movie serves the cause of surprising the viewer not necessarily plot-wise, but character-wise. I mean all of the characters in this movie have their ups and downs within the build up.
Guy Pearce is certainly one of my favorite actors of all time, so it isn't new to me that I got owned by his acting and for Carrie-Anne Moss, she is an actress of natural, God-given ability. So, where did the pleasant surprise came from?... It came from Joe Pantoliano who added THE flavor to the movie.
If you still haven't watched this movie and I doubt it, then go and see it today for it is a masterpiece not necessarily in its epic, rich, novely aspect, but for its innovation.
"Memento" is a sleaze-ball suspense movie with a twist. As if you don't
know it yet, the scenes are played all jumbled and out of order.
What could have turned into just a nasty trick on the viewer is actually very well-done here. You see things from the perspective of our main character who suffers from a bizarre memory loss condition. Rather than explain the plot, I will just say that if you plan on watching this movie just once, get ready to change your plans. You will need to watch it twice to fully GET it. It moves too fast for the viewer and by the time it's over you will tell yourself that you GET it, but you don't.
To those who say there are no holes in this film I scoff at you. Why does Leonard have no memory loss in the murder sequence? He remembers long enough to drive all the way to that abandoned building and then wait for the murderer. In other scenes, he forgets what he is doing after two minutes. Maybe he is just psychotic and made the whole condition up in his mind to excuse a rampage? The hypotheses are endless. Personally, I'd rather watch a movie that just makes sense on it's own and no matter what you say, this one doesn't. "Memento" tries to do what "Pulp Fiction" did but takes itself way too seriously. The viewers are treated to a narrative from the character Teddy at the end when he has to explain the situation to Leonard thus explaining the movie to us. Kind of cheap, Nolan.
One thing is for sure: Guy Pearce is one of the best actors alive.
7 out of 10, kids.
I cannot believe when I see the other bad reviews of this movie. Once again, I think that the plot goes over peoples' heads and they do not realize what is going on. If you have a good head on your shoulders, there is no way you could fail to be drawn into the mystery of this film. Guy Pearce is unbelievable and this was the first time I saw what an incredible actor he is. Also, Carrie Anne Moss is ubelievabley gorgeous and Joe Pantoliano (also another favorite) is hilarioius and inscrutable. I can watch this movie time and again and never get tired of it. I love it when a story takes a twist on classic Noir. The other plus is that the soundtrack/score is really edgy and complements the b leak tone perfectly.
Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) is hunting the man who killed his wife. He has
to do this while struggling with short term memory loss meaning he relies on
photos of important things and tattooing important facts on his
As everyone in the world knows the film runs backwards from the end for the majority - meaning that we, like Leonard see events without any knowledge of what has gone before. Like him we only have photos etc to help us. Unlike him we know what will happen and this makes it easier to follow the story. The film follows two streams - one where Leonard is telling someone over the phone about Sammy Jankis - a man who has the same memory condition. The second stream is the main narrative backwards.
This film is amazing. If the story was told forwards then there would be very little here but the devil is in the editing. This is a director's film - the key lies in the editing of scenes and the many visual tricks that provide clues to the conclusion of the film. The main compliant everyone has is that the ending leaves too many questions unanswered - however on the first viewing this is not true. The first time you see it the ending is simply and devastating - the twist is not as breath taking as Usual Suspects or Se7en but it will profoundly move you. When you get over this you begin to pick back over the plot and the "Sammy Jankis" section and you will find it difficult to come up with a water-tight solution. But to me that's one of the things to enjoy - the discussion with friends about the film and the fact that it stays with you for weeks after you've watched it.
Pearce is excellent in the lead, I cannot believe this guy once was in Neighbours! He is a totally believable character and makes the audience feel so many different things throughout. Joe Pantoliano is excellent - but then he always is. Even Carrie Anne Moss is good. The strength of Moss and Pantoliano is that we don't know who they are - are they Leonard's friends, enemies, good, bad? - and they play on this ignorance wonderfully.
The film is not in the top 250 because of the story but because of the editing. This is so different from anything else recently that it blows you away. It takes 15 minutes to get going but once you're in then you're in. This is worth watching as it shows how even a simple story can have a huge impact.
"Where am I?" The first line blows away my mind each time I watch this
movie. I had to watch Memento several times to understand what was
going on in the movie. The story plot is intriguing and complicated.
Yet, there is a pattern to it once you get a hold of it. I personally
think that it adds immense depth to the movie. The greatest thing about
this movie is that each time you watch it, you always get a different
meaning out of it. Ever since I have seen this movie, I have shown it
to my friends, and all of them enjoyed seeing this. I often find myself
watching this movie when I am sad or caught up with stressful things
that happened recently.
The premise of this movie is that main character, otherwise seeming ordinary, has this "condition" where he cannot make a new memory since his accident. But the movie is about more than that. It's hard not to reflect ourselves while watching the character struggles to grasp the truth and to find who killed his wife. Memento is also about moving on from the painful past and letting things go, which are two of hardest tasks we ordinarily go through each day. The wall between our memory and imagination is, in fact, very thin. Director Nolan does an excellent job in portraying that small wall, and suggesting that we all have this power and will when it comes to our own memory. Our memory is fragile and uncertain, yet it still exists in a certain form. Memento shows how we have this beautiful ability to recall and recreate the past events. Such creative power defines us as human, and as a result of that, a sequence of events turn into a journey of ultimate truth. What he finds at the end of this movie might be something that we are all seeking for in life.
When you are uncertain about your life, Memento is a great movie to watch and remind yourself about the complexity of your own memory and mind. The movie often leaves me with the high appreciation for memory. What our mind can do is quite remarkable. Although Nolan's Inception was bigger scale and had more actions in it, Memento remains to be my favorite Nolan movie.
A man is determined to find justice after the loss of a loved one, even
though he is incapable of fully remembering the crime, in this offbeat
thriller. Leonard (Guy Pearce) is a man who is struggling to put his
life back together after the brutal rape and murder of his wife. But
Leonard's problems are different from those of most people in his
situation; he was beaten severely by the same man who killed his wife.
The most significant manifestation of Leonard's injuries is that his
short-term memory has been destroyed; he is incapable of retaining any
new information, and must resort to copious note-taking and Polaroid
photographs in order to keep track of what happens to him over the
course of a day (he's even tattooed himself with a few crucial bits of
information he can't get along without). Leonard retains awareness that
his wife was brutally murdered, however, and he's convinced that the
culprit still walks the streets. Leonard is obsessed with the notion of
taking revenge against the man who has ruined his life, and he sets out
to find him, getting help from Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), who appears
to be a sympathetic barmaid, and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), who claims to
be Leonard's friend, even though Leonard senses that he cannot be
trusted. Writer/director Christopher Nolan adapted Memento from a short
story by his brother Jonathan Nolan.
Starring, Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Stephen Tobolowsky, Mark Boone Jr. , Harriet Sansom Harris , Callum Keith Rennie , Russ Fega , Jorja Fox , Thomas Lennon.
Directed by on of the best new directors of all time, Christopher Nolan.
Nominated for 2 Oscars, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing while not winning any. it did however won numerous screenplay awards that year and was a hit at Indie Spirits and Sundance.
i finally saw this most talked about, memorable and beloved movie of the decade. Christopher Nolan is a genius filmmaker who never ever disappoints anyone. its like he doesn't know how to make a bad movie. this movie being a very small movie, deserves all the praise it got over the years. Film making at its very best.
This off beat thriller has to be on of the best movies of the decade and all time. i love psychological thrillers, but this movie played with my psyche too. the best depiction of anterograde amnesia which makes people unable to store new memories in their mind while they had to write everything down with pictures to remember everything and everyone because they forget everything they forget everything after a certain time. this movie has to be one of the most complicated and difficult to follow movies ever. i did got into this movie after 30 minutes and i started to actually understand what was going on but still when it ended i think i have to see it one more time. i found myself enjoying every bit of this movie while getting surprised and praising this unique structure of the movie. not quite confusing for someone who have seen a simpler more over the top violent and romantic version, it was a Bollywood masala movie the adapted the idea but this movie stands as the best.
this movie begins showing the story ending as he kills Teddy, we are told that he gets vengeance of his wife's rape and murder. there are two different narratives, a colored and Black and white one. the black and white sequences are placed in the chronological order as he is shown conversing with an anonymous phone caller. Leonard's own investigation is shown in Colored sequences which has this uniqueness of showing it in Reverse order. we feel the confusion and tension just like Leonard does and it gives the audience a very realistic feel of his own mind's confusion. towards the movie end these two sequences joins and gives the idea to viewers how all of this happened, the murder which was shown at the beginning of the movie.
Guy Pearce gave his best performance to date and a great choice for this character, just perfect. he played it very well. Carrie-Anne Moss also gave a good supporting performance.
Christopher Nolan gave a brilliant direction. his vision is so grand and out of this entire world. he can handle a small movie to big comic movie to a originally made grand movie while playing with your mind. brilliant out of this world Screenplay which actually is adapted but since the source material wasn't released so it got in Original screenplay nomination. superb editing and everything else.
one of the best movies ever that you have already seen. but if not DON"T WAIT FOR IT.
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