memento-poster

“I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can’t remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world’s still there. Do I believe the world’s still there?”
– Leonard Shelby

Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) has a problem. He has anterograde amnesia. He cannot create new short term memories, which serves to be an issue seeing as he is on an important mission. He is researching something, he is working something out, something big and important, and is being helped along by his friend (as far as he knows) named Teddy (Joe Pantoliano). Leonard’s condition is due to an attack he and his wife suffered, and that he was unsuccessful in preventing – his home was broken into and his wife (Jorja Fox) was raped and murdered by a man he believes to be called John G.

memento leonard shelby

“You don’t want the truth. You make up your own truth.” – Teddy

Teddy is helping Leonard track down John G, to exact justice for the atrocities that his wife suffered. Leonard has a system to keep on top of things. Notes are jotted down, his body is tattooed with clues and facts he knows to be vital to the case. He has Polaroid photographs of all the people around him as well as notes to himself about them as well as where he stays and what not. The most important story he tells himself to remind him about what is wrong with him is the story of Sammy Jankis (Stephen Tobolowsky), a man who suffered from the same type of amnesia, and a claim that Leonard was supposed to look into when he was still an insurance investigator. Leonard was unsure as to whether Sammy’s condition was true or not, though his wife (Harriet Sansom Harris) tested the theory and had her husband overdose her on her insulin.

memento still

“Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They’re just an interpretation, they’re not a record, and they’re irrelevant if you have the facts.” – Leonard Shelby

Another woman assisting Leonard in his vengeance plan is Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), who will help him out of pity because she, too, lost someone. She also happens to be his lover, though he does not always remember this. Leonard is staying at a motel, and every day he has reminders for himself as well as little bits of a mission he is working on. Teddy is assisting Leonard as much as he can, retracing Leonard’s footsteps as well as helping to work through the case files that were originally involved with the attach on Leonard and his wife. Something is not right, but Leonard cannot put his finger on it, and is likely to forget it when he does if he does not document it.

Leonard believes that Teddy is the one that raped and murdered his wife, and is set on killing the man for what he did. His investigation and notes lead him to suspect this. Teddy’s real name is John Edward Gammell, and his car’s licence plate matches up with the one that Leonard knows to belong to John G. But is Teddy truly guilty? Why is Natalie so intent on helping Leonard out? Can they ever have a regular relationship due to his condition? Is Leonard’s condition a physical one or a mental one? Will he be able to overcome it? What exactly happened with his wife in the attack, however long ago that was?

memento carrie anne moss

“But even if you get revenge you’re not gonna remember it. You’re not even going to know that it happened.” – Natalie

GRADE 9I really enjoyed this movie. Once again, Christopher Nolan demonstrates his prowess with another solid film that progresses in such a way that you are hooked but never lost, though forever asking questions. Memento also had a really unique way of presenting the story, and it was fresh and new, unlike most films. The performances from the cast were great, and Guy Pearce shone in his role of Leonard, giving the character far more credibility than you could think. There was some humour throughout the film, but it was not overbearing or anything to take away from the subject of the film. A lot of it stems from Leonard’s condition, and how it can put him in a lot of danger, but also let a lot of people take advantage of him. The way the story was told was completely compelling, and doesn’t have a single boring moment to it. The score worked for it, too, and it was just overall a really good film that was highly enjoyable. A fine film to find yourself watching, kitted out with a fantastic cast and an exceptionally interesting plot, Memento offers a unique presentation that will keep you on your toes for the duration of it.

39 thoughts on “Review: Memento (2000)

  1. alexraphael says:

    Loved this film. Great review Zoe.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Alex! It was excellent!

      Like

  2. Stu says:

    Nice work. I really like the way the story is presented too, although it’s a long time since I watched it. A very clever film!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Stu. Yes, very sharp and on the ball, I had a lot of fun with it! Maybe a rewatch is in order?

      Like

      1. Stu says:

        Yeah I think so! I have it somewhere so could dig it out on a rainy summer’s day!

        Like

      2. Zoë says:

        Sounds like the perfect plan!

        Like

  3. Awesome review Zoe! Love this film, so clever. Nolan has had a blinder here! Really glad you liked it so much 🙂

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Chris! He is a phenomenal filmmaker, he just knows how to make movies work on so many levels!

      Like

  4. elina says:

    In the end, when I finally almost understood everything, I was really pissed at this film. But it is a really good film. Awesome review, Zoe!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Awwww haha, sorry to hear that. It was an awesome ride to take with him though! Thanks!

      Like

  5. Natasha says:

    I am so watching this the moment my freedom begins! Great review my friend 🙂

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      WHOOP I cannot wait to hear what you think of it. It is so good! SO close… so close!

      Like

      1. Natasha says:

        Freedom is imminent!

        Like

      2. Zoë says:

        SO CLOSE!

        Like

      3. Natasha says:

        YAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Like

  6. theipc says:

    Sexiest JB,

    GREAT post!! I LOVE this movie! I also love your new rating image!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    LOVE,

    Chop

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      My Dearest Chop,

      LOOOOOOOL! Thank you, thank you!

      This movie was bloody brilliant, just fantastic. It is fully deserving of the praise it gets. 😀 YAY! Thank you!

      Love,

      JB

      Like

      1. theipc says:

        Dearest JB,

        I have calls ALL DAY!!!! FUCK. Cry for me.

        My love,

        Chop

        Like

      2. Zoë says:

        Dearest Chop,

        CRY CRY CRY. I totally feel your pain, that really sucks. I have also been ceaselessly busy all day and I am beyond over it haha.

        Love,

        JB

        Like

      3. theipc says:

        Fondest JB,

        I HATE THEM.

        Love,

        PSC

        Like

  7. le0pard13 says:

    The film that made me a Christopher Nolan fan. Fine review, Zoe!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks a lot Michael, definitely a fine film!

      Like

  8. coolone160 says:

    Great review! The climax of the film leaves one astonished 🙂

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thank you! It is a really good one!

      Like

  9. Possibly Nolan’s best, apart from maybe The Prestige and Insomnia. “What’s the last thing you remember? My wife… Oh that’s sweet… Dying…” Love that quote!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Ah that was a fantastic quote! This movie was brilliant. Nolan can truly do no wrong in my eyes!

      Like

  10. Such a cool and different movie. Great job Z!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      🙂 Thanks lady! Really loved this one!

      Like

  11. Top marks Zoe. Nolan really showed his mettle with this awesome movie. This blew me away on its release and it’s only got better over the years.

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Totally in agreement there! Solid film this!

      Like

  12. caragale says:

    Glad you liked this one, Zoe! Definitely a clever, clever film. I still think I like the Batman films and Inception better…but this one is still really good. Nolan just knows what’s up. 🙂

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      It was great. Man, he is an amazing filmmaker. Oh, I am a ridiculously huge fan of Inception… and the Dark Knight trilogy. So far, Nolan has never disappointed. Some people are just that good at their craft.

      Like

      1. caragale says:

        I just hate that he was involved in Man of Steel. :/ Couldn’t have he been like, “Noooooo!” Lol.

        Like

      2. Zoë says:

        I agree with you there, but there are worse movies he could have been involved with!

        Like

      3. caragale says:

        Meh. I suppose. Haha.

        Like

  13. Victor De Leon says:

    Great review! I have to re-visit this one. I recall being very impressed with the tone and style. Nice work, Zoe!

    Like

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Victor! It was a good one, looking forward to hearing what you think after you check it out again!

      Like

  14. table9mutant says:

    I know I already commented on this on Twitter so… LIKE. : )

    Like

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