Monday, 26 July 2010

Film Review: MEMENTO (2000)

Director: Christopher Nolan
Running time: 104 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: 20th October 2000

Watched on DVD Monday 26th July 2010.


Having recently seen and really loved Inception, I decided to see what other Christopher Nolan films lurked in my DVD collection. I couldn’t believe it when I found I had never seen Memento. Well, a day work off due to an injury gave me the time to rectify this situation.

Leonard suffers from short-term memory loss. He can remember meeting you, but only for a few minutes, and then it fades away. He got this condition when he was hit in the head whilst trying to save his wife from the man who raped and murdered her. So, he can remember everything up to that point, but no further. In order to help him he takes photographs of people he meets and places he goes. He annotates these so he can refer back to them. There are also tattoos on his body of things he has decided are too important to lose. He is determined to find the man that murdered his wife and kill him. To this end he is helped by a character called Teddy, who seems to be a bit of a low-life. Along the way he also runs into Natalie, who has also lost someone and is more than she might first seem. Before the murder Leonard was an insurance investigator and he uses his skills to try and track down the mysterious John G, a name he has tattooed on his chest.

The story is told backwards; we start with Leonard killing the man he thinks is responsible for everything, and work back from there. It’s a very interesting and effective way to tell this story, but you can’t really take a bathroom break because you’ll lose where the story is. I found the DVD pause facility very useful! Great performances from Guy Pearce as Leonard, also, Carrie-Anne Moss as Natalie and Joe Pantoliano as Teddy Gammell. Honourable mentions go to Jorja Fox as Leonard’s wife, Stephen Tobolowsky as Sammy Jankis and Harriet Sansom Harris as Mrs. Jankis.

Although there are some nice action sequences in the film I found it to be quite slowly paced. It gradually draws the audience into Leonard’s world as we find out more about how events transpired. The score is quite subdued and fits the mood of the piece perfectly. Over all, a very interesting and absorbing film, I liked it a lot! Recommended.

My score: 9.1/10

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