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Masterpiece Cinema - Memento

 article about Top Movie Reviews
Howdy,

As I'm writing this, I'm just coming out of the worst
part of a particularly nasty virus that I picked up somewhere around
the place. Because of this, I might get a little incoherent at times,
and efhou huoh;zgo ;wsbgf

Sorry. Bad joke. Anyway, that is just
my way of telling you this weeks article will probably be a little
lighter than usual, as I'm planning on going to bed and having a night
of fitful, feverish, migraine-interrupted sleep after I'm done doing
this.

This week

"Memento"

Starring Guy Pearce, Joe Pantoliano, Carrie-Ann Moss.
Written by Christopher Nolan (Screenplay) and Jonathon Nolan (Story).
Directed by Christopher Nolan.
Genre: Drama / Mystery / Thriller / Noir / Complete Mindjob
Released: 2000
Running time: 113 min.
Rated: R (American rating for violence, language and some drug content).
IMDb link: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0209144/


When I heard that Christopher Nolan was going to be directing the new
Batman movie, I squealed with the excitement of a little girl at her
first pony show. With his work on both "Memento" and "Insomnia," I knew
that he'd instill a mystery and darkness in the Bat-franchise that had
been missing for quite some time, and a seriousness that had been
absent since the very first film. So I figured, with news about "Batman
Begins" breaking every single day, why not take a look back at Nolans
breakthrough film?

Everyones heard of "Memento," right? I
imagine quite a large number of people have seen it, too. But there's
still a surprising number of folks who haven't. Let me try to explain
the story.

Leonard Shelby, a former insurance
investigator, is devastated when a home invasion ends with his wife
raped and murdered. Leonard is also injured in the attack, left with an
inability to form new memories. Whenever he wakes up, the last thing he
can remember is the face of his wife dying. Driven by a need for
revenge, Leonard tattoos his body with facts about his wifes killer. He
also walks around taking Polaroids of everyone he meets and everywhere
he goes, scribbling down notes on the bottom of them so that he can't
be taken advantage of.


The most interesting thing about "Memento" is the way that it's
told: in five-to-ten minute parts that are all arranged in reverse
order. The start of the story is actually the end, with the conclusion
being the opening. It's a brilliant technique that, while its been used
before, is extremely effective here in not only gaining an
understanding of Leonards mental state, but also in creating a great
sense of mystery.

Guy Pearces performance is a fantastic one,
capturing the anger, confusion, and misery of Leonard, as well as his
dangerousness and complete vulnerability. It's a shame hes never really
been able to find another project as good for him as this one.

I
was never impressed with Carrie-Ann Moss in "The Matrix" films, but she
has something to really work with here, and she plays it to full
effect. Joe Pantoliano is his usual sarcastically cool self, playing a
character whos wickedly charming while also being highly questionable.

The
whole thing strikes as a very modern noir story, and that was no doubt
Nolan's intent. And while on repeat viewings one may come to find plot
holes, there are so many theories that can be generated to support them
that you find it very hard to nitpick. It's a film that leaves you with
a lot to talk about, long after youve enjoyed watching it.

Next week: Wha? I already told you, I'm off to bed!




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