Welcome to another review from Out of The Past, where I review older movies from years ago, critically-acclaimed and award winners, and even some of my favorites. With Inception coming out tomorrow (and I’m gonna put up my review for that on Saturday Night), I felt it would be necessary that this week’s entry would be:
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano
Memento’s basic plot is a hard one to tell, specifically for the people who haven’t seen this movie, so I’m going to try it in the best way possible without giving too much away. We follow Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), a man with short term memory loss, who is trying to find the killer of his wife. There are sequences shot in color that go back in time throughout the film, and the black and white sequences are set before the events we see occured.
After seeing some of Nolan’s most recent films, them being The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, and The Prestige, I decided to watch some of his earlier works. So one night I got a chance to watch Memento. And I’ll tell, it was such an experience that I had to look it up to figure out what I had just seen. And after I understood, I watched it again and absolutely loved it. It goes to show that even starting out Nolan didn’t have a weak start.
It’s going to be hard to do a review on a movie like this, because it’s better to talk about with people who have actually seen the movie and understand it. Hopefully I can get through it without giving too much away. But for those of you who have seen the film, you’ll understand every reason why I love this movie and if you haven’t seen it, you should stop reading this review, put it on your Netflix queue or buy on DVD as soon as you can.
Let’s start with the cast. Guy Pearce does a phenomenal job in the lead role. We feel a bit of torment for him in the way he can’t remember anything and how it can be kind of tiring for him have to write things down on paper, take photographs of other people, and tattoo information on all over his body. Carrie-Anne Moss of Matrix fame also does a great job in the supporting role of Natalie, who gets Leonard into quite a fiasco earlier in the movie. And of course Joe Pantoliano does a great job as the “villain” in the movie (there’s a reason why I put quotes in it).
I’ve already told you the story of this film, and it’s basically a simple story that we’ve seen many times in many other films…except for the last sentence. The way that this story is told is what really makes the movie as great as many have hailed it to be. It goes backwards in time. This results to some confusion, but that’s what it’s supposed to be. It makes you feel like you’re the character trying to remember everything that happened, as well it fits into the movie’s title.
And it’s really Nolan’s direction that makes this movie remarkable. He brings an intense story that leaves you wanting to know what is going to happen next. It keeps you guessing, even after the movie is finished and you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen the movie or when you see the movie (which I think you should see it right now). Overall, Memento is an incredible film, with brilliant acting, a great story, edited well (and more than just well), and it’s a film that I’m gonna be thinking about for a long time.
Famous quote: “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? Is it still out there?… Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.”