4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Memento is well thought out,
This review is from: Memento (Widescreen Limited Edition) [2 Discs] [Import] (DVD)Rarely have I watched a film that demanded that I pay such rapt attention to detail. Its series of segments, progressively reveal more of what happened but in backwards order. I had to expend a lot of mental energy comparing the events in each segment and piecing together what I thought actually happened. This method of filming alone is challenging but especially so given the main character's mental limitations. It is worth energy to figure out though!
For those who don't know, "Memento" is a story of a man who loses his wife in a rape attack inside their home, pledging that he will track down a murderer for revenge and peace of mind. The main problem is that Lenny (Guy Peirce), after the attack, was left with a problem in that he cannot retain any long term memories. Well that's one brief summary of how to look at it, but there are others. Indeed this film is excellent and played with my emotions, emotions of sympathy, anger and questioning my own morals and judgments. Peirce is exceptional as the lead, and the characters that come into contact with him also give fine performances (notably Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano). Focusing on the problem of losing a memory after approximately 15 minutes, we begin to appreciate just how frustrating Lennys plight is.
The film is beautifully shot and the editing and photography is even better. The best part: the film starts at the end and works it way to a middle point. That's because when the film comes to its end you really don't know if it's the beginning since you don't know what Leonard (Guy Pierce) did before arriving at an isolated place. This film can really be seen as reminiscent of the film style of Film Noir. It uses black and white scenes to give that off as well as the characters in the film constantly sucking Leonard further down into this world where he has no idea who and what to believe, including himself and the things he's done. Not only that but all the characters, yes even Leonard who is our protagonist, has a dark side of human nature to them. And that's what Film Noir is, exposing the dark side of human nature. The film has such a great Psychological deepness and by all means breaks the conventional art that goes into filmmaking. It really was a shame this film wasn't nominated for best picture. It greatly deserved that award and Nolan greatly deserved best director for it. Bottom line: Flat-out brilliant film-making and story-telling. One of the best films I've ever seen. I don't throw high ratings around but this one deserves 5 stars.