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  • Justin Louallen

Memento - Written Retro Review


Justin here. With the new film Dunkirk coming out in the summer, I decided to look back at the films directed by Christopher Nolan starting with the film that got him started in Hollywood, Memento, (I have not yet seen his debut film, Following, but I'll watch it sometime). It stars Guy Pierce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano. The story is about a man named Leonard who suffers from anterograde amnesia which causes him to have short term memory loss around every five minutes due to an incident that happened to him in the past where his wife was raped and murdered. Inking himself and taking photos for his memories, he goes on a journey to find the killer while also uncovering clues that piece together more information about events that happened to him prior to the incident. I must say that this film was absolutely brilliant. The structure is in a non linear format that places scenes going in reverse order and also showing black-and-white sequences that are in chronological order. The way that the story unfolds with us getting into the mind of Leonard and the guilt he goes through is fascinating and I love the way that we as the audience are piecing together information like he does. Guy Pierce is amazing and he really captures what it's like with a person having short term memory loss and he's very compelling. The rest of the performances are great too with each character having to remind Leonard of events that happened. The themes involving memories and guilt work well with the psychology of the character and Nolan nailed it with the way that both the color and black-and-white sequences go back and forth with basically having two parallel stories going on at the same time. The story was very gripping and it had my jaw dropping at the end when everything came full circle, especially when twists and turns are revealed that give clear motivation to the characters. I'll admit that it took me a little bit to figure out how the structure worked, but I get what Nolan was trying to do and it came out perfectly. Outside of The Dark Knight Trilogy, this is my favorite Nolan film and with little to no flaws, I'm going to give Memento a rare 10/10. What do you think of it? Comment below and I'll see you next time.


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