Movie #275 Memento
(2000, US, d. Christopher Nolan)
A movie that challenges the audience to actively participate in the journey of its lead character, Memento is a film that is hard to get out of one’s mind. Brilliantly written and wonderfully directed, it is a film that takes a gimmick and makes it a part of its story. If you don’t already know, this film moves backwards. As in we start from the final scene of the film and work backwards until we’ve reached the end of the film, but the beginning of the story. Our unreliable protagonist is a man named Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), who suffers from an extreme version of short-term memory loss. He forgets everything in 15 minutes and must use photos and notes to himself to let him know who to trust, what to do, where he lives, etc.. It is a film that takes a gimmick and puts us further into the mind of the character. Just like Shelby, the audience also does not know what came before. We are Shelby. On top of that, we have the already interesting storyline of what Shelby is trying to accomplish: find the guy who raped and murdered his wife. Usually on people’s list of favorite movies, this independent thriller made huge splashes domestically through word of mouth, catapulting director Christopher Nolan into the spotlight.