“Facts, not memories. That is how you investigate. I know. It is what I used to do. Memory can change the shape of a room. It can change the colour of a car. And memories can be distorted. They’re just an interpretation. They are not a record.”
Memento (2000) is a sophisticated, dramatic, mysterious crime/thriller movie about Polaroids, tattooed memos and memory loss. Directed by Christopher Nolan, as his third movie, and starring Guy Pearce as Leonard who is determined to get revenge after losing his wife in an incident that left him with a “short-memory loss condition”, unable to fetch any new information or trust anyone except his notes on Polaroids of the people he met and the tattoos on his own skin. Memento is a brilliant puzzle going backwards.
“I lie here not knowing how long I’ve been alone. How can I heal? How am I supposed to heal if I can’t.. feel time?” Leonard says in a heart-shattering tone as he keeps realizing that he is unable to form new memories, fading as soon as they happen. When you’re watching, you will suffer from the contrary condition; working your way back towards the beginning. It’s like you’re watching Leonard from an outer perspective, but still with a disrupted state of mind. Here, I must say, it begins brilliantly. With a polaroid photograph that fades instead of developing, allowing you to become familiar with where the director is taking you.
Memento was an impressive step in Nolan’s development as a director, and we owe him the twist; shocking and saddening our insides more than the whole puzzle had done.
In this movie, you’re meant to be confused. But I assure you, you will enjoy every second of it.