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Memento (2000) Storyline and Short Review

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Memento (2000) Storyline and Short Review

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Since the invention of cinema in the late 19th century, movies have been a part of our lives. But when it comes to watching movies, there are few things more important than finding a movie that you’re going to enjoy, and that can sometimes be a complicated process.

With so many different kinds of movies out there, and with so many different choices within each genre of film, it can often seem like the task of picking out a movie is far too large to even begin to think about.

 Memento (2000) Storyline and Short Review

Memento (2000)

A memory inside a memory, Memento is a complicated head spinning adventure. Leonard is determined to avenge his wife’s murder. However, unable to remember anything that happens day-to-day due to a condition he sustained, short term memory loss, he has to write himself note after note that still don’t mean anything after he falls asleep.

Memento is a film filled with twists and turns that you can’t always predict. The way its shot in black and white and then color also makes it difficult to figure out what is real and what isn’t. The cast does an excellent job telling their stories even if they don’t make any sense at times.

Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, and produced by Suzanne and Jennifer Todd. A British-American co-production, the film stars Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano. Pearce stars as a man who, as a result of an injury, has anterograde amnesia (the inability to form new memories), and has short-term memory loss approximately every fifteen minutes.

The film presents the story in a nonlinear narrative, repeating scenes in two different orders to show events from two different perspectives; the first half of the story is told in black-and-white scenes, while the second half is shown in color scenes.

The film was met with critical acclaim upon release. It received numerous awards and nominations at independent film award ceremonies, as well as at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, British Academy Film Awards, Saturn Awards, and other mainstream ceremonies. Memento premiered at the Venice International Film Festival on September 5, 2000, where it won the Critic’s Award. The film was subsequently released in theaters in the United States on March 16, 2001 by Newmarket Films.

Storyline

Memento (2000) Storyline

Memento is the story of Leonard Shelby, a man suffering from short-term memory loss. The film was written and directed by Christopher Nolan, and is based on a short story by his brother Jonathan. Memento was released in theaters in 2000 and has since become somewhat of a cult classic.

Memento is told backwards, starting with the end of the story and ending with the beginning. This choice is made because Leonard’s condition makes it impossible for him to remember anything that happens after he falls asleep. The only way he can keep track of his life is through notes written on Polaroid photos, and tattoos.

While Leonard’s condition plays an important role in how the story unfolds, most of the movie’s plot revolves around his desire to hunt down his wife’s murderer — a man named John G. Leonard enlists the help of two individuals, Teddy and Natalie, in order to complete this task. However, once he discovers that Teddy has been lying about how much he knows about his wife’s killer, things take a turn for the worse.

It’s clear that Memento is not your typical movie. The storyline is unique and will leave you guessing right up until the end! It’s a fun ride if you’re willing to go along.

Short Reviews

Memento (2000) Short Reviews

This is another great movie. It’s a psychological thriller that you have to watch over and over again to get the full understanding of what is actually going on. The movie is told backwards, with the ending starting first, working its way to the middle, then finally having the first scene be the beginning.

The story is about a man, Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), who has anterograde amnesia and he’s trying to find his wife’s murderer. He has no short term memory so he takes pictures of people, writes himself notes, and gets body tattoos and more in order to help him remember things. But even with all these methods to help him out, he still doesn’t know what is real and what isn’t.

We see this movie through Leonard’s perspective so we don’t know any more than he does. As he says “I have to believe in a world outside my own mind.”

The film’s story revolves around Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia, which impairs his ability to store new explicit memories. Although he can recall details of life before his accident, Leonard cannot remember what happened fifteen minutes ago, where he is, or why. His condition results from the trauma he suffered in finding and killing the attacker who raped and murdered his wife.

He is tormented by the inability to remember whether he has avenged himself on the murderer. From an ending set at the beginning of the film, the story is told in reverse chronological order as Leonard tries to remember what he must do next.

Memento was filmed chronologically; however it was edited in reverse order, so that the film’s narrative plays out backward, which reflects Leonard’s condition.

History of the Film

Memento (2000) History of the Film

Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The story was inspired by the short story “Memento Mori” written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher’s brother.

The film’s script was based on a pitch by Jonathan, who wrote the story when he was 21 years old, who then developed the script into a novel. The two collaborated on the film script.

Guy Pearce stars as a man who, as a result of a past trauma, has anterograde amnesia (the inability to form new memories). He is searching for the people who attacked him and killed his wife.

The two sequences meet at the end of the film, producing one complete and cohesive narrative. Memento premiered October 5, 2000 at the Venice International Film Festival and was released in European theaters starting in December. It received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. The film was subsequently ranked one of the best films of its decade by several critics and media outlets.

Reaction of the Audience and Critics

“Memento” is the kind of movie that most filmmakers would kill to make. It’s a clever movie, but above all it’s an original one, and originality in mainstream cinema is a rare commodity. This film succeeds where many fail because it never allows itself to be predictable.

The story is about a man named Leonard (Guy Pearce), who has anterograde amnesia – that means he can’t make new memories. After his wife was murdered, he spent the last few years trying to track down the murderer.

He has Polaroids for every person he meets and interviews with himself on cassette tape to keep him updated on what he is doing or who he is meeting. He also has tattoos written all over his body containing clues to help him get through each day.

This film is directed by Christopher Nolan, who also made “Following.” “Memento” is more accomplished than “Following,” but they are both well-made films that show off the talent of a promising young filmmaker.

This film will probably get compared to David Fincher’s “Fight Club,” which also has its narrative told backwards, but the narrative they told was completely different yet beautiful.

Awards and Achievements

Memento received a nomination for best original screenplay at the 74th Academy Awards, but lost to Gosford Park, written by Julian Fellowes. The film also received many other accolades (including four nominations at the 2001 British Academy Film Awards). Memento is presented as two different sequences of scenes interspersed during the film: a series in black-and-white that is shown chronologically, and a series of color sequences shown in reverse order (simulating for the audience Leonard’s condition).

The two sequences meet at the end of the film, producing one common sequence.  The two sequences “meet” at the end of the film, producing one complete and cohesive narrative.

The two main sequences of the film are told in reverse order: the first, shown in black-and-white and appears chronologically, is about Leonard’s search for the murderer of his wife; the second sequence, shown in color and presented in reverse order (starting with the end of Leonard’s story), shows events before the murder that appear to be creating it.

Memento premiered at the 57th Venice International Film Festival on September 5, 2000. Two months later, the film received a limited theatrical release in North America on November 17, 2000 through Newmarket Films.

In the feature directorial debut of Christopher Nolan, Memento chronicles two separate stories of Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator who can no longer build new memories, as he attempts to find the murderer of his wife, which is the last thing he remembers. One story line moves forward in time while the other tells the story backward revealing more each time.

Final Thoughts

Memento is a very unique movie. It’s shot in black and white, the colors are dulled and there are no musical scores (except for one song when Leonard meets Natalie). The film is also unconventional in that it is told backwards, starting with the ending and going from there. This movie will definitely make you think, trying to figure out what happened, who did it and why.

This is a unique film to watch. It is told in reverse order and will be confusing if you take it for granted that the characters are going to tell you everything you need to know. You have to pay attention or you will get lost.

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