Memory Text Review: "Memento"

Essay by ipodrixHigh School, 11th gradeA+, July 2006

download word file, 3 pages 2.3

"Memento", directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce, Joe Pantoliano and Carrie-Anne Moss is a film noir, cinematic jigsaw puzzle about a man suffering from short-term memory loss inflicted the night his wife was raped and murdered. Guy Pearce plays the protagonist, Leonard Shelby, a former insurance investigator seeking revenge on the man who killed his wife. However, the problem is that he can't remember who to kill and he must somehow piece together evidence to find the killer without the ability to hold on to short term memory. In order to do this, Leonard develops his own artificial memory system by taking notes, pictures and tattoos of clues before he forgets them, in an effort to piece them together and hunt down the man responsible for destroying his life.

This film is unique because of the way Nolan tells the story in reverse and through many fragmented scenes.

It begins with Leonard killing 'Teddy' (Joe Pantoliano) in a cold blooded scene before we are taken back in reverse chronological order to trace how Leonard pieced together enough evidence to know he had to kill Teddy. The movie continues to skip backwards and forwards thereafter with pieces of scenes being repeated, revealing more context each time and keeping the viewer captivated as they try to piece together the film. The film constantly poses many questions on whether Leonard killed the right man, the man who raped and murdered his wife. In addition to this, Nolan combines the use of colour and black and white segments to add to the further confusion of the story. Black and white segments are often used to interrupt the colour ones, breaking the viewer's own memories of the movie. In this way, the film captures the fragmented and confusing nature of memory and how...