Memento review by Dhyana Kearly
Poor ol' Lenny. He can't remember anything -- anything that's happened to him yesterday, that is.
Memento is a movie about a man with no yesterdays. Since sustaining a blow to the head in an attack that killed his wife, Lenny can't remember anything that's happened to him. And, when he falls asleep he instantly forgets all that has happened to him while he was awake.
To keep track of the bizarre situations happening in his life, Lenny writes notes to himself, which he tapes to his thigh. He does this knowing that he will find them tomorrow when he wakes up, wondering where his is and how he got there.
The really important notes, he tattoos onto his body so that they don't get lost. His pockets are full of Instamatic photos which name people whom he is likely to run into and places he will find himself in.
Lenny is a disturbed man bent on revenging the murder of his wife. The last thing he can recall on any given day is the moments just prior to and following the violence which resulted in the death of his wife.
Oh, he has full memories of his life as an insurance investigator and revels in recalling one particular investigation detailing an insurance claim on a man who lost his memory. This information he has tattooed prominently on his left hand as a way of reminding himself how to cope with the `condition'.
Memento is a story told backwards. It's a brilliant way of telling this story and a way that hooks the viewer emotionally. If it had been done the old fashioned way, one day after another, we wouldn't have to think for ourselves, and the story would undoubtedly lose substance.
The scene opens with Lenny having just recorded his last experience. In this case, it's a scene with someone having been shot in the head, blood everywhere, including on Lenny. But, Lenny doesn't look like the type of guy who would be going around killing people, so we begin to wonder how this happened.
Every scene that follows depicts the events prior to what we just saw, and thus slowly the plot is revealed.
Dressed in an expensive suit Lenny drives a Jaguar, but he's staying at a dive of a hotel. Even though, at one point, he justifies the expensive trappings as having collected on his wife's death (he was after all, in the insurance business) we are still left wondering.
The recurring characters, whom Lenny has no previous memory of are intriguing . We don't really get the full picture of how they fit into that last (or in this case first) event of the film until the final 20 minutes.
I thought this was a very engaging and intriguing story. The actors were well chosen and quite believable in their roles. The style of reversing the plot only added to the texture of the film.
The scenes of violence are minimal, and therefore don't distract from the storyline. Therefore, I'm pretty sure Memento would hold at least some appeal for most everyone.
****Memento is rated R for violence, language and some drug content