Write descriptive essay about Memento movie 2000, write an essay of at least 500 words on Memento, 5 paragraph essay on Memento, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Christopher Nolan
Guy Pearce as Leonard
Carrie-Anne Moss as Natalie
Joe Pantoliano as Teddy Gammell
Russ Fega as Waiter
Jorja Fox as Leonard's Wife
Storyline: Memento chronicles two separate stories of Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator who can no longer build new memories, as he attempts to find the murderer of his wife, which is the last thing he remembers. One story line moves forward in time while the other tells the story backwards revealing more each time.
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Confused but interested until the very end
First and foremost I'd say to anyone going into this film blind, do not come in thinking you're in for simple linear narrative with a clear start and end point; it's one of those films that can will never be easily explained, the narrative is just that complex.

The film follows a man named Leonard or "Lenny" with after an accident now lives with extremely short term memory. This characteristic is the very foundation of the film because we as the audience follow Lenny from start to finish, we know everything he knows, we learn everything he learns. However just as we learn everything Lenny does, Lenny is unable to remember the new information which adds good layer of intrigue and mystery as to how the film will end.

The narrative as I've mentioned before is non-linear, the events as we see them are not chronological for the most part. The only scenes that actually run in chronological order are the series of black and white scenes that incorporate flashbacks providing additional plot points. The scenes in colour play backward in contrast to the black and white scenes in what Christopher Nolan (the director) describes as a hairpin narrative where the narrative loops on itself and the true end point lies around the middle of the story.

As my summary suggests Memento had me confused for the large majority of the run time, what with the unconventional narrative structure and the slight frustration I felt as Lenny's memory issues proved to be his greatest weakness amidst everything and everyone around him. However the overall mystery of the film kept me engaged from start to finish, although the conclusion may leave some (as it did with me) with an anti-climactic feeling due to how Memento resolves its plot threads. Despite this Memento is still gripping from start to end and I'd highly recommend checking it out, especially for those interested in more unconventional and experimental storytelling.
Not to be missed if you are looking for something clever and original. ***1/2 (out of four)
MEMENTO / (2001) ***1/2 (out of four)

By Blake French:

How is this for a scenario? A man breaks into your house in the middle of the night. He kills your wife and leaves you with brain injuries. Furious, you pledge your life to track down and kill whoever is responsible. There is just one problem: after the head injury, you are no longer capable of creating new memories; everything before the accident is crystal clear, but now you cannot remember anything past several minutes.

Now chew on this: what happens to guilt if you cannot remember what you did? How can a person have emotions if he does not know where they came from? How can we learn from our experiences if we cannot remember them. What is the purpose of revenge if someone cannot recollect or prosper from it?

"Memento" wins this year's prize for inducing the most audience participation. Not only is the film thought-provoking and unusually absorbing, but it also places us in the main character's shoes. How can we be in the same mental status with the main character when he cannot remember anything? Writer/director Christopher Nolan has that answer: he tells the story backwards. We begin at the end and work our way towards the beginning. However, each individual scene plays running forward, often overlapping, providing us with clear, constructive transitions. The main character, Leonard, is confused in prospects of time and experience, and so are we.

Other characters include Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss, from "The Matrix"), who also lost someone close and can help Leonard, and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano, also from "The Matrix"), whose identity often shifts mysteriously. Then there is the series of flashbacks of Leonard's experiences while working as an insurance agent. The situation involves an individual named Sammy, who has a memory disorder similar to Leonard's. His diabetic spouse is not sure whether her husband is faking his condition or not. To prove it to herself she arranges a test I dare not reveal. Leonard is more intricately involved in this story than he even believes.

"Memento" is smart and imaginative. It doesn't pass up little details of the characters. Leonard is constantly jotting himself notes and taking Polaroid pictures so his life can make some sense. He even gets permanent tattoos all over his body so he does not lose or forget some of the most important information.

In a movie like this, it would be almost impossible to make without leaving some information out; even some of the film's actors were confused and requested a script told in sequence order. But these filmmakers have constructed a movie with a plot hole big enough to drive a semi through: If Leonard cannot remember anything after the accident, then how can he remember that he has a memory condition? There are no tattoos or notes to remind him, and whenever he meets someone he explains his condition thoroughly. This is necessary information he reveals, but there are better ways to do so. We could be there when his doctor explains the condition to him, or see his friends talking about it. The sky is the limit in a movie like this. It was not essential to leave such a massive, obvious hole in the plot.

"Memento" is still a unique mystery thriller. It is a tantalizing experience we do not often come across at the movies. For audiences who like to sit back and relax, this film is a waste of time. It requires us to follow along, participate, fit puzzle pieces together-"Memento" doesn't provide any easy or obvious answers. All but the most intelligent and thoughtful kids will not be able to follow this film; it is intended for adult audiences. "Memento" is one of the year's most challenging movies, not to be missed if you are looking for something clever and original.
The Reverse Genius Principle
9) And that's when we realize we could never be sure of anything to begin with.

8) When Leonard eventually thinks he has found his wife's killer, eleventh-hour reveals shock us with the possibility that his whole crisis may be nothing more than delusion.

7) Editing this movie must have been like navigating inside Las Vegas hotels with no watch or compass: sex and drug distractions, deprivation of day or night, no signposts or exit signs, and of course, nauseous on cheap shrimp and hairy tequila. Untold credit to editor, Dody Dorn, for shuffling the deck as confusingly as possible, yet weaving the tale as tightly as a sanitarium wicker basket.

6) But every few minutes, the movie twists back on itself, each flashback a segment of Leonard's life that happened just before the segment we have just seen – and with each flashback, we realize just how wrong Leonard is about who his friends are, his past life, clues to the killer, his quest *in toto.* By about the fourth paragraph we realize: this piece is running backwards.

5) From Jonathan Nolan's short story, *Memento Mori*, we meet Leonard mid-investigation, slumming it in a cockroach motel, having lost his job as insurance consultant, looking disheveled (as Guy Pierce can do so natchelly), and optimistically on the trail of the murderer; hanging with gregarious Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), and involved with hot bod, Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), both of whom seem to be aiding Leonard catch his killer.

4) Leonard's last "new memory" was the murder of his wife. During the scuffle with his wife's killer, a blow to the head caused his memory faculty to shut down. Whether this is truly biologically possible (if you cannot make new memories, how do you even shop for food and water or pay the rent?), for the movie's purposes, it means Leonard must piece together clues to his wife's killer through copious notes, tattoos on his own body and Polaroids. But the truth will forever elude him and the clues that lead to the killer are mere wraiths, the products of his own "selective" reasoning.

3) The harder you strive for something, the harder it is to grasp. But what you care least about - or that you were never striving for – falls into your lap. Some call this the path of least resistance, but it's actually called The Reverse Genius Principle. And Leonard - all ephemeral ideas and misplaced action – is a Reverse Genius in full throttle.

2) Guy Pearce is the memory-challenged Leonard, who is trying so hard to move forward – to find his wife's killer, but unable to create "new memories" to retain info - that he ends up moving backward. Thusly, writer-director Christopher Nolan has crafted a film where the clues to a murder fall neatly OUT of place. Backwards.

1) *Memento* opens with a killing. We don't know why. We don't know who.
An unforgettable trip into the mind of a man with no memory
If you're looking for something intense, suspenseful, and different than your usual effects-packed thriller, this is the best movie you will see all year. You will be talking about Memento at work, at the grocery store (to total strangers!), and you will find yourself joining conversations when you hear the word "Memento." That's why this little film that received almost no marketing stayed in theaters for months and was in the top 10 money makers for several weeks.

The movie starts with a murder -- a revenge killing, in fact. But was the right person killed?

Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) is a man with no short-term memory. He hasn't been able to form new memories since the night his wife was murdered. Now he's on a hunt to find the murderer but with no way of remembering names, dates, places, facts and faces. Instead he tattoos himself with mementos of his search. When someone knows his name, he checks Polaroids to see if he knows them. Does he like this person? Does he trust this person? Is this the killer? He doesn't know unless he's scribbled a note.

Don't worry about trying to empathize with Leonard because Writer/Director Christopher Nolan puts you right in Leonard's shoes. You live the story in reverse order so that you never know more than Leonard does. In one scene you see Leonard getting information from a person who knows him -- maybe a good person; maybe bad. In the next scene you see a previous meeting between the two which sheds more light on their relationship. Later still you see how they met. But is that all of the story? You've yet to find out... and you won't know everything until the last scene. By living it backwards, you, like Leonard, have no knowledge of what came before.

It's brilliant story telling. But you might get frustrated because you don't know what's going on. That's normal. In fact, that's the whole idea. Just sit back, try to relax (though that's difficult in this movie), and find out just how twisted and complex Leonard's world is.

This film will leave its own memento on your mind, and you'll have a hard time forgetting how much you enjoyed it.
Memento or how to make an insipid story seem intricate
As for the story: throw in the usual wrongfully deceased wife/daughter. Add a formula, like memory loss, also a proved recipe. Now throw in a little gimmick, lets write it backwards in time, or half of it forward and printed backwards so you need to read it using a mirror.. Something like that. Great idea! Really, after I managed to recompose the story from its fragments, all I had was an incredibly thin story. With entirely one- dimensional characters, all equally unlikeable. This one I can spoil in a single line. Guy suffers from memory loss from a head injury, and tries to get revenge, but is used time after time because of his memory loss. Give or take a handful of unimportant and uninteresting details. Top ten movie? Apparently people can be bought cheaply, and they take chaos for complexity when given the chance.
Backwards story line, overrated in general...
Granted this movie is out of the ordinary. But since this movie is #9(?) overall here on imdb, my expectations was high. So I was very disappointed when I had seen the movie through. The film lacks attention to detail, and thus has lots of problems where you, as audience, begin wondering why the director/writer ( unknowingly? ) has made so many errors with regards to conditions of the mind and realistic human behaviour. Id say that if you are fan of well worked and really intriguing storytelling, go watch a David Lynch movie. His movies doesn't pretend to be something they are not.

Sorry to all the people who feel this is a really brilliant movie, but it is not up there to me. It is a sad story told backwards, with an uninteresting philosophical twist about what people will believe when they cant distinguish between truth and lie.
Memento is a Truly Intriguing Journey
Before Inception and The Prestige, Christopher Nolan created a film with a completely different feel that is based on his brother's short story that follows a man lost in his own mind, unable to separate truth from lie.

Memento is centered on Leonard, played by Guy Pearce, who is a man determined to find and kill the one who raped and murdered his wife. However, throughout this investigation, he experiences one immense handicap: he is unable to retain any memories after the death of his wife. Despite this setback, his determination leads him to take pictures, write notes, and even tattoo himself with facts he refuses to forget. This is only the first sign that he won't stop until the man he wishes to kill is dead.

Without spoiling the movie for future audiences, I would like to start out by saying that this movie has a fascinating flow in its sequence of events, and it gave me true joy when I first recognized this unique element. If you have already seen Christopher Nolan's later films, recognize that Memento is nothing like them, nor should it be. It has a completely different pace while intellectually expecting much from its viewers. This is a movie that demands your attention, and I can say without a doubt that it received mine. It is as though the movie is always challenging you to be as perceptive as you can, while taking note of the most minute of details that flash by you on the screen. I don't believe this is a perfect movie (although I have yet to find anything of the sort), but it is a movie that excels in so many ways, creating interesting characters, an interesting setting, and most importantly, an interesting flow.

If I haven't said it already, Memento is an incredible movie that should not be missed. It is unique and knows how to separate the fun pace from the emotional plot, giving it even more flavor. I personally found it difficult to emotionally bond with Leonard, given that he didn't always seem as heartbroken as he should over his deceased wife. Fortunately, I didn't find this issue to be nearly enough to hold this movie back from being truly amazing movie that captivates audiences of all kinds.
do I have such bad taste?
You know, this movie has everything to be an awesome movie. The main actors, Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss deserve an Oscar for such a professional acting. The originality of "Memento" is also pleasant, I myself had never seen a similar story in a movie. But something in this plot didn't satisfy me. The story was very confusing, there are flashbacks all the time, and it becomes boring once we get lost in the mystery.

I have to admit I didn't make it to the end... as stated before, once I got lost in the story it became very boring. And it's not my fault as a viewer to don't get things straight: they (the writers) are supposed to make me want to follow their thoughts, otherwise movies wouldn't be classified as entertainment.
An emperor with no clothes?
Christopher Nolan and company must be having a good laugh over the effort we poor fools have been expending in trying to understand "Memento." I watched this on DVD once from the beginning to the end and then back again, and I have come to the conclusion that trying to put together a coherent linear narrative with a beginning, middle and end from the jumbled fragments we are given to work with here would be an exercise in futility. The truth is that by the time each revelation has finished contradicting the one that comes after it (or before it?), you are ultimately left with nothing but thin air. Some have said that "Memento" tells its story in reverse order from the end to the beginning, but this is one thing that it does not do. If that were the case, then the final scene at the tattoo parlor would be the beginning of the story, which, of course, it is not. In fact, trying to pinpoint just when the story begins is impossible. I think the filmakers have made us all the victims of a fiendish prank, but I for one do not think "Memento" is nearly as clever as it thinks it is. Oh, and Guy Pearce's rapid-fire monotone almost put me to sleep!
Probably the most overrated movie of recent memory.
First of all, this is not a horrible movie. It does keep you mildly interested. But it has several, fatal flaws.

One reviewer mentioned that the film was too clever by half. I totally concur. The film went out of its way to create something unique, and in the process lost the entire narrative structure. So when it ends, you barely even know if it happened. In fact, you don't know that it happened. If Leonard was delusional about Sammy, then perhaps he was delusional about all the characters in the movie. The fact is, you will never know.

The problem is, this doesn't make for a good film. Good films are those where the narrative art is enhanced by the photography. By this measure, the movie fails, as the photography does almost nothing to tell the story, and Guy Pearce is as milquetoast a leading man as there is. The fact is, the film is about trying to put you in his shoes, to show you what Leonard must have felt like living with no memory, but you end up feeling nothing at all because he is such a bland character actor.

I would compare this film in some ways to Se7en--except that Se7en does a much better job telling the story (even if the ending wasn't at all surprising). The major difference is that you care about what happens to the characters in Se7en. There is no empathy with Leonard, partly because the film never gives you the chance because it's too busy being clever.

Perhaps people will rate it highly, but it is definitely not a Citizen Kane or Casablanca, a movie where you can take it out and watch it over and over again. It's far too dismal for that. It's more a movie like Resevoir Dogs, where you like the idea (and perhaps the execution), but the way the story is put together keeps it from being a classic.

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