“Momento”: a Movie That You Won’t Forget



The promo poster for “Memento”

“Memento” takes a psychological twist on your typical subversive mystery movie. Where many movies in the genre go back and forth on their plot to confuse the watcher, “Memento” goes in a loop de loop. When I was told that the movie would be told backward, I was expecting a disjointed plot and that the director thought it was artistic to tell a story backward.

“Memento” is meticulously put together to blend seamlessly into the events of Lenny Shelby’s past. Lenny, played by Guy Pearce, has anterograde amnesia because he was attacked in his own home by thieves. This condition prevents him from forming new memories. Lenny’s only desire in life is to find who killed his wife. He keeps track of all of the complicated evidence and facts he can’t remember with polaroid pictures and tattoos all over his body.
“Memento” is riddled with dramatic irony due to Lenny’s condition. Lenny forgets where he is and what he is doing in the moment, which adds to this “Groundhog Day” esque feeling of the viewer knowing what Lenny should be thinking but still not knowing the entire picture.

In order to remember things, Lenny takes pictures of people that he meets and writes notes about them. Pearce expertly portrays how trusting you would have to be of yourself to kill someone over a note that you don’t remember writing.

The film plays with the idea that what Lenny wrote might have been a mistake. Some characters use Lenny’s amnesia to their advantage by having him forget what they have told him or what they did in the past.
The entire movie is innovative and all-around fantastic. What sticks out to me is the movie’s ending. After having an entire movie worth of build-up and questions, to have all of the right ones answered with the last piece of the puzzle is fantastic.

The movie is definitely worth the watch and even a re-watch. You not only know how it ends, but you might spot something that you haven’t seen before. While re-watching the film, I noticed how the characters foreshadow and subtly hint at what might be happening in the bigger picture. The ending leaves you with this resounding amount of clarity and distraughtness. In my opinion, the ending fits this movie perfectly.