Written by Megan Greene.
Featured image from IMBD.
(The following article reflects the writer’s own personal experiences and opinions.)
A picture says a thousand words. The problem is, what happens when that isn’t enough? Memento (2000) directed by Christopher Nolan is a thriller that makes any IQ test seem like a cheap substitute for a real intelligence exam. It’s a film that really leaves you questioning which way is up.
The film follows Leonard Shelby (portrayed by Guy Pearce), a former insurance investigator who suffers from a rare form of short-term memory loss where he forgets things 15 minutes after they’ve happened. The last thing he remembers is his wife being assaulted and the lead up to his injuries which become the inspiration for his life goal. He must find and kill the person who attacked his wife. It’s a memorable plot.
With an array of confusing story-telling techniques, the film uses full-colour and black-and-white scenes to utterly disorientate the viewer. It may be a clever way to separate the past from the present, but all it makes you want to do is crawl into a corner and rock back and forth.
The best, yet possibly the most irritating, part is that the film sticks in your mind even after you finish it. So many loose ends are tied up as the credits begin to roll – but do those fraying strands even match up with each other? Who can we trust? A guy with brain damage or the side characters? No one is a reliable narrator and that’s why Memento is so good. You have to choose who to believe. It all depends on your memory.
Chosen to be preserved by the National Film Registry in 2017, Memento certainly isn’t a film to forget. It is a truly unique experience that represents just how wacky the early 2000s were, with all the quirky little charms that more modern films such as Inception (2010) just can’t quite grasp.
Memento is a film to come back to and re-watch again and again, not only because it’s entertaining, but because you probably need to watch it several times just to understand the plot. Then again, you may just keep finishing the film with even more questions than before. Memento is like mint chocolate ice cream; some people love it, others hate it, and others can’t quite make their minds up. Still, no matter which type of person you are, it’s still worth a try.