Release Year: 2001 (USA)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Staring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Watching Memento is like riding a roller coaster, only the ride is set up like a maze and it runs upside down and backwards all at the same time. Oh and it dose all that in the dark as well. In the film you have a duel narrative going on, the first part being shown in color and the second presented in black and white. Sounds simple enough, correct? Well you would be wrong if you thought that. The color segments all play backwards plot wise, starting with what happens last and going back to the beginning. Each segment typical lasts for no more than fifteen minutes. Now while all that is going on, the movie will switch over to the black and white segments. These segments play forward like you would see in any other movie. The two narratives both work towards the same ending, and run into each-other at the conclusion.
The story, simply put, is about an ex-insurance fraud investigator named Leonard Shelby who one night came home to find a burglar assaulting his wife. Before he can do any though, some one brutally hits him on the back of the head causing him to black out. When Leonard comes to, he finds that his wife has died and the perpetrator got away. How ever that's not his only problem. Due to the blow he received on his head, Leonard now suffers from anterograde amnesia. This is not your typical "oh I don't know who I am" amnesia, but instead he has lost his short term memory or the ability to form new memories. He knows his past, his name, where his home is, and most importantly he'll never forget what happened to his wife.
The pacing and plot progression in this movie, though odd, more than justify themselves since they help you relate to the main character. Because the movie plays in backwards segments, you (just like Leonard) don't know/ remember what just happened or why exactly you're doing what you're doing at that moment. It's not until that scene ends and the next begins that you get answers as to why some thing was happening in the last segment.
For example, at the beginning of one segment you see Leonard running and out of breath. Just as you're about to ask why he's running, Leonard begins to talk to him self. He looks around, dazed and confused, and says, "Okay, so what am I running for?" As if in response, a gun shot rings out and glass shatters as the bullet passes through a car's windshield. "Oh that's what I'm running from," comments Leonard as he continues his flight. As this scene continues to play out for a while longer then begins to fade out. As the next segment fades in, we see Leonard standing on a porch about to knock on the door. Before he can even reach forward, the door burst open and a man comes out ready to fight. Now you as the audience know how the gun fight started, but you still need to wait for the next segment before you're informed as to why Leonard and this man even fought in the first place. And to find that out, you as the readers need to go out and rent/ buy this movie. You will not be disappointed ;).
Song of the Day