Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Memento – 2000



Overall, for a film that cost a mere $5Million (US), which is the equivalent of 5 and a half minutes of Nolan’s latest picture “Interstellar”, “Memento” demonstrates exactly how a smaller, down-to-earth picture with a solid script and brilliant performances can trump the gargantuan visual extravaganzas.
The cast is small, the action is sporadic and the score is nothing over the top. “Memento” is Christopher Nolan’s best film in my opinion; it’s smart, professionally crafted and superbly executed. This is certainly a reason that Nolan is one the most highly regarded directors of today.

As a character, Leonard is a highly complex one. Convinced on certain things regarding his past, he is still incredibly difficult to grasp as we really can’t be sure of anything he, or anyone for that matter, says. There is however a heightened sense of sympathy expressed towards Leonard.
His calmness and constant confusion gives off a sense of innocence; this is achieved primarily though the fantastic script. Some of the conversations are able to be frustrating, saddening, amusing and tense all in one, which makes the film overall such a mixed bag.
Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 11.20.48 pmStructurally, “Memento” is ingenious, particularly given the primary themes and rhythm of the story. The film is separated into two intertwined sequences, them being black & white and colour.
Although their setting in terms of chronology is confusing at first, when the puzzle begins to fit together, you appreciate the writing and editing of the picture that much more. There is also an internal monologue of Leonard that appears frequently throughout the film and sets the tone for each scene.
Although us as an audience are able to remember the events as they transpire on the screen, it’s written in such a way that at points, we are as confused as poor Leonard is!

Leonard (Guy Pearce) suffers from a rare condition that affects his memory. He is unable to create new memories following an attack that ended with the tragic loss of his wife. Residing in a motel room and driving a luxury car, Leonard utilises a series of polaroid pictures and tattoos to assist him when he loses track of the almost immediate past; a regular occurrence.


He then begins to rely entirely on these notes, pictures and tattoos to get his head straight, but as the narrative begins to unravel, his system may not be as solid we think.
He associates himself with a select group of people, of whom he trusts, as a way of finding the people responsible for his wife’s death, but are they who they say they are? Wait, what was Talking about? Oh yes! “Memento!”

Having just recently watched “Interstellar”, it felt only appropriate to visit Nolan’s past works, or, ‘the basics’ so to speak.
One of his first and in my opinion, his best picture to-date, “Memento” is a perfectly structured, mind-bending, memory-based neo-noir thriller that is equally as puzzling the second time around. It focuses on a man who is unable to create new memories and has a unconventional structure, making it ambitious, clever and greatly unique.
With a solid lead performance driving the narrative, the screenplay, score and everything in-between make “Memento” one of the greats. 


2 comments on “Memento – 2000

  1. Noémie
    November 11, 2014

    Here we go :).

    It’s not a 5 for me and that’s not my favourite Nolan’s but this is in my top 3 Nolan’s movies and that’s a really really good movie ! As you said not as much money on that but so much more powerful and well written than his last one!

    • wmsteele
      November 11, 2014

      Haha! What is tour favourite Nolan film?
      Yeah, absolutely! I agree that a solid script is the foundation for any good film!

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