Memento is a 2000 psychological thriller film directed by renowned Hollywood director Christopher Nolan. Also produced by Nolan, the movie is actually adapted from a short story titled “Memento Mori” written by Jonathan Nolan, his younger sibling.
The lead character named Leonard is played by Guy Pearce. He stars as a man suffering form short term memory loss and who is on a mission to avenge the rape and death of his wife. Apart from moving into vengeance direction, the movie tries to create a picture on some of the factors that push people to do certain acts.
Leonard memory loss came about as a result of a random violence act that also left his wife dead. After this scenario, Leonard dedicates his entire life in avenging his wife’s death. He develops a system that he uses to track and also remember little clues. It is these little clues that will help Leonard identify his wife’s assailant. He incorporates the help of his friends, Natalie and Teddy who are played by Carrie Ann Moss and Joe Pantoliano respectively. As the movie unfolds, it is revealed that the characters including Leonard are not exactly what they appear on first impression. Although Leonard has a deep desire for vengeance, the question that the plot poses to the audience is whether this desire is actually his or whether it is the people who are around him.
Memento is an example of a movie that is brilliantly done. It is relatively fat paced and keeps the viewers wishing to know what happens next. The director shot the movie in reverse. This means that the first and the last scenes are interchanged.
The imagery of the movie is very clean and most of the scenes adopt a non-descriptive format. This enhances the overall direction of the movie. The director is able to create a platform through which the audience can identify with the main character’s loss of short term memory.
The movie which is rated at 8.7 /10 was shot in 25 days starting from September 7th to October 8th in 1999.The actors came to shoot on different days but on the first day the three core actors performed together to shoot the exterior sequences at Natalie’s house.
Actors however returned to shoot other parts within the 25 days. The marketing of the movie was smooth since the thrill and drama in the movie made it a self-sale. The film started gained popularity since it first appeared in the film festival circuit. The film gained momentum in the market after it got a standing ovation at the Venice International Film Festival in the year 2000.The movie hit the heights of sales when it played in the Toronto International Film Festival and Deauville American Film Festival.
With this level of publicity, the film did not encounter many difficulties in getting distributors to distribute the movie to the foreign markets. The marketing of the film was however aided by the website that Jonathan Nolan designed to create more knowledge and information about the movie. The website was such a boost, as interested clients would acquire all the information pertaining to the movie.
The musical aspects of the movie were taken care of by David Julyan who made up a synthesized score for the film. While creating the score Julyan acknowledged various soundtracks, which he found inspiring such as the Vangelis’ Blade Runner. The synthetic score was able to carry the various moods and emotions that appeared at different scenes of the movie.
However, the movie is somehow morally corrupt. This is because it presents the audience with a notion that their basic lives are indeed mere creations of their own minds. Most of the characters live in self a created world where virtually everything is possible
Ignoring the small discrepancies in the movie, it is overall a very decent piece of art that every motion picture fanatic should strive to watch.
Klein, Andy (2001-06-28). "Everything you wanted to know about "Memento"". Salon.com. Retrieved 2012-09-04.