Leonard (Guy Pearce) is a man who suffers from short-term memory loss. Leonard is unable to make new memories. He’s able to have conversations, but he will eventually forget how the conversation began and so on, what Leonard does remember very well in the past leading up to his brain injuries that stop him from making new memories. At the time Leonard received his injuries, his wife was also brutally raped and murdered. In present day, Leonard spends each day investigating his wife’s murder, looking for clues which will one day lead him to the killer. He gets by in life by writing himself notes and taking photographs of locations and his friends. Leonard will even go as far as leaving himself clues by getting them tattooed on his body.
Now, if I were to explain more details about Memento other than the above, it would be considered a spoiler. But what I can tell you is that Memento brings lots of unique filming styles to the screen. One aspect is the way this film tells its story. It’s a style that I’m not going to spoil, but I will say it’s brilliantly done and for some viewers, it may even take a while to catch on to how this film tells its story. But once a viewer gets the gist on how this film works, it’s downright awesome.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, who would later direct such films as Interstellar and The Dark Knight, Memento was one of Nolan’s earlier directional films. Memento was a great starting block to his career. In my opinion, Memento is a film that belongs in a time capsule because Christopher Nolan was able to bring so many new things to the cinema that had never been done before.
The praises for Memento include the film’s main plot and the performances from start to finish. As a plot, I’ve never seen a movie like this. Memento is loaded with consistent and numerous twists and turns. Once you begin watching Leonard unravel one mystery, viewers will find themselves hooked to know the truth and will be shocked as Leonard makes discoveries about his past.
As far as performances go, this is my favourite movie from the actor Guy Pearce (playing Leonard). The actor is convincing, and it’s straightforward for viewers to sympathise with Leonard’s condition and cheer him on to find the whole truth as to what happened to him and his wife. Supporting cast includes Carrie-Ann Moss & Joe Pantoliano, both who are also incredibly solid and impacting.
With good thrills, you need an excellent, suspenseful soundtrack and Memento has a great one. Don’t get me wrong, the soundtrack is very faint and sometimes essential, but it’s very effective. Eerie music being played as Leonard does the simplest things kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what’s going to happen next.
Overall, Memento is a fantastic thrill ride. With stunning performances and a gripping story, I find pure pleasure and enjoyment every time I watch this film on Blu-ray. I also find new things in this film with every re-watch, and each time this film feels fresh to me. The film’s style was something new and impressive for its time, and it’s understandable why the director Christopher Nolan would later direct films with a great budget (such as The Dark Knight). If you have never seen this film, please do and be sure to give it your undivided attention. My original score for this film was 9.8/10, but since my recent re-watch for this review, I found myself more forgiving for the minor splinter sized issue that I originally had with this film.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden