Dangerous Universe
Memento, Best Movie of 2001?

I have to admit that I neither saw “Memento” in theaters nor waited in excitement for it to come out on DVD. I might have never saw the movie if it wasn’t for a recommendation from Michael Summers. He suggested that I go out and buy the movie, saying that it was the sort of movie that I’d “dig”. He was right.

Memento has since climbed up my top ten list of movies and currently resides at the top.

Joe Pantoliano and Guy Pearce
Guy Pearce and

Memento follows Leonard Shelby, an ex-insurance investigator trying to track down, and kill, the men who raped and murdered his wife. The one catch is that during the attack Leonard, or Lenny as he hates to be called, suffered a brain injury that caused him to be unable to form any new memories. He can remember everything before the injury just fine but he can’t remember what he ate for breakfast this morning. He can’t even remember if he ate breakfast this morning.

Leonard keeps track of his life through a series of notes, Polaroid’s, and tattoos. The notes tell him of evidence that he’s uncovered about the crime. The Polaroid’s help him in his daily life showing him the sort of thing like which car is his (as in a photo of a car with a hand written note underneath saying “This is your car”) and who his “friends” are. The tattoos covering his body are confirmed evidence about the crime. He knows that the killer’s first name is either “John” or “James” and has these names tattooed on his arm.

In an interesting editing turn for the movie, Memento plays last scene to first, a sort of stopwatch counting down from end to beginning. Memento begins with Leonard killing the murderer of his wife. We then follow Leonard scene by scene as he uncovers the evidence piece by piece leading him to this man. Turn by stunning turn Leonard is used by his “friends” as they abuse his “condition”. You can slap Leonard across the face and call him an “asshole” but in a few minutes Leonard would have forgotten the whole incident. In a few minutes Leonard wouldn’t even remember who you are.

To truly appreciate the movie, one really has to see it several times. I have seen it four times, and counting, and catch new bits of information that I had missed the first time around. Is Leonard’s wife really dead? Did Leonard really kill the right man? Who keeps calling Leonard on the phone? See the movie and find out for yourself.

I cannot recommend this movie enough. If you haven’t seen it you really should. If you’ve only seen it once then you’d better see it again.? 12/9/01

 



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What you didn't know you always wanted. :-P