Memento



Title: Memento
Directed by:
Christopher Nolan
Written by:
Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Year: 2000

I had heard much about Memento before I actually saw it, most of the comments positive, others not so. Most people seem to like it, though, since it is currently on 27th place on IMDB’s list of the greatest films of all time. I agree. I like films that make me think, and that keep me intellectually stimulated all the way. Sure, breaks for other kinds of engagements are welcome, but Memento is a sign of that I do like puzzle film.

A puzzle film? Oh, yes. The story in Memento is told in two separate, alternating threads, one running forwards in time, the other backwards (to help the viewer separate them, one is told in black and white, the other in full colour). This makes it fairly tricky to figure out what is going on, especially since the story itself revolves around a man without the ability to form new long-term memories. He can only keep something in his mind as long as he thinks about it, and he is easily distracted. To keep track of what is happening, he writes notes to himself. Essential facts are tattooed on his body, such as a sentence telling him that somebody called John G. raped and killed his wife. Since the police do not believe him, he sets out to find the perpetrator on his own. But can he trust his notes? Is it possible to conduct a murder investigation without being able to remember even what one is looking for?

First and foremost, Memento is excellently made in every possible way. I have not checked myself, but I am certain that the storyline works, at least in general terms. The fragments of the story showed to the viewer creates something that might be akin to what the main character is feeling as he fights to make sense of his world. They are chosen and presented in a brilliant fashion, keeping me interested and on edge throughout the film. Still, they are not so fragmentary and confusing as to be pointless, because even if it would be very hard indeed to grasp everything the first time, it feels coherent and it is possible to grasp enough (if you doubt the intricacy of the story line, check this article). The story as presented to the watcher (as opposed to the chronological story line) also contains enough turning points to be interesting. As if all this was not enough, the story also poses intriguing philosophical questions about memory and its relationship to identity.

Needless to say, I like this film very much. I knew directly after watching it that the grade would be somewhere between four and five snails. Since I have difficulties finding either something bad or something perfect, I decided to give it four and a half snails.

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  1. Martin’s avatar

    Nu har jag också sett den och jag tyckte den var riktigt, riktigt grym. Den var precis vad jag hade väntat mig och samtidigt inte alls. Idel glada överraskningar.

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  2. Olle Linge’s avatar

    Ja, den är klockren. Vill du veta mer om hur genomtänkt den är kan du ju kika på artikeln jag länkade till.

    Reply