Memento (Nolan, 2000)

Memento is a film by Christopher Nolan, the same man behind the hit Inception. A psychological thriller, with Guy Pearce as the star – Memento‘s plot and story-line is as confusing as it’s style. What we know, however, is that Leonard (Pearce) had lost his wife to rapists when their home got raided, and from that incident acquired a disorder which prevented him from having new memories. Now Leonard wants to avenge the death of his wife, but with his short-term memory loss, things get confusing and he solves this by getting “freaky tattoos” all over his body along with photographs of people he’d meet and notes on them, so that he can record facts in order to investigate about the murder case.The story is told mostly in reverse chronological order but some moving forward, so one can imagine the confusion it will bring, but all the more that it tickles the mind – an impeccable style maneuvered by Nolan – complemented by an exemplary performance by Pearce who was just perfect for the role of Leonard. Pearce was able to extract the emotions from the audience while not necessarily overdoing it, making it look effortlessly heavy.The movie can’t be labelled a mystery in as much as genre is concerned, however. The purpose is not for us or even for Leonard to solve the mystery murder case, but rather, the movie explores the validity(or invalidity) of memory, and the power of the mind. It questions the reality of the world outside as compared the world that we have created inside our own minds to fit our own fetish for fantasy and make believe. It induces and stimulates the viewer, leaves him pondering about the things he believes in, whether he/she believes it because it’s true, or because he/she wants to and the reasons why.Leonard Shelby: I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can’t remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world’s still there. Do I believe the world’s still there? Is it still out there?… Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.

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