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 test given to Sammy Jankis (Stephen Tobolowsky), involving the electrified objects, is based on a real-life case study of a patient, commonly referred to as HM, who suffered from the same form of amnesia following surgery to treat severe epilepsy. A doctor repeatedly shook HM's hand with a joy buzzer, shocking him every time. After a few trials, HM refused to shake hands. The test, shown in the movie, is an illustration that Sammy's condition was not identical to a real-life case study, but would not have excluded him from insurance coverage. See more »
When Natalie shows Leonard the picture of herself with Jimmy, she is smiling (in addition to Jimmy having a mustache). Later, when he gets out of bed and views it again, she is no longer smiling, and Jimmy's mustache is gone. Finally, in the close-up of Leonard writing the note on the back of the Polaroid he took of her, the picture has reverted to its original state. This is probably deliberate to make us feel we have Leonard's condition. 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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