A man’s wife is raped and killed during a house break-in. In the same incident he is hit in the head leading to a rare condition where he just remembers everything till the incidents. He cannot make new memories after that. He has a very short term memory where he cannot remember anything that happened few minutes ago.
The last thing he remembers is his wife dying before his eyes. He wants to find the person who killed his wife but cannot remember the facts that could lead him to the killer. So he takes photos from his Polaroid camera of places, clues and places. He also tattoos on his body the facts about the killer. He writes notes to himself so he knows what he is doing.
Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” is a thriller about a murder, short-term memory loss and what to believe. Based on a short story by his brother, Jonathan Nolan, Memento actually tells the story in reverse. Which means that the climax happens at the start of the movie. The man finds his wife killer and kills him at the start of the movie.
Its like the game where we are told the answer and we try to figure the correct question. But is the killed man the real killer of the hero’s wife? The story goes backward and tries to come to the incident.
The situation and people change in such a way that none of the characters have a positive aspect. There are no heroes even though Guy Pearce playing Leonard is the central character and the story is told from his perspective.
By the end of the movie, the thoughts about the characters are completely changed. Each character becomes manipulative even the person who has the short-term memory loss. As the movie is played in the reverse sequence, you really have to watch each scene carefully sometimes going back to see what you have missed.
The movie is in the genre of something like “Fight club”, “Donnie Darko”. Most of the things will not be explained. You have to make your own interpretation. You have to figure out the clues and join them yourself and that what makes the movie a pleasure to watch as you go about figuring the climax. Although this is easier to be figured out than “Donnie Darko”
The climax answers a lot of questions like why the normal insurance investigator can drive an expensive Jaguar or why does he live in cheap motels, or why he wears the same shirt in the whole movie but then its a question of figuring the clues and lots of patience.
The movie is slow in pace and does gets a little uninteresting at times. The first 50 minutes or so, it gets a little frustrating because the story is going nowhere. Its after 50 minutes that pieces fall in place letting into a very surprising climax. The film speaks of people’s motive and the man himself who will not remember even if he takes revenge of his wife’s death.
If you can watch and keep track of the disjointed scenes, and if you like puzzles, “Memento” is a good movie to watch. The best part is the screenplay and the actors just fall into places.
Nice thriller to watch!