697. Memento (2000)

8.6 Unique and genius
  • Acting 8.4
  • Directing 8.5
  • Story 8.9
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 9.3

Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Director: Christopher Nolan

Running Time: 118 mins

Memento is an American film about a man, suffering from short-term memory loss, who follows a series of his own clues in order to track down and kill the man he believes killed and raped his wife.

Wow. This is an absolute triumph in screenwriting. The most impressive thing about the fact that this whole story is written and shown completely back to front is how surprisingly unpredictable it is, despite the fact that you know the end as soon as it starts. As well as that, it’s by far the most complicated and intricate story I’ve ever seen, requiring total and utter concentration for every single one of the 118 minutes.

So, the main commendations here go to Christopher Nolan for brilliantly writing this masterpiece of a screenplay. Honestly, I’m still stunned by how effectively and successfully Nolan could write a story as complex, as unpredictable, and as intriguing as this, and not only that, but everything done backwards.

It’s pretty tough to accurately describe how this film is set out, but simply, it starts with the end, and ends with the beginning of this man’s quest for revenge against the man he supposes killed his wife. Now, this may seem as if the whole story would be spoilt immediately, and would have no opportunity to advance or develop, however that clever little touch of our main character having short-term memory loss makes every scene seem like a totally new event, despite it already having contextually happened.

And it’s so incredible to see the amount of development that you see for the main character as well as the whole plot, despite it all going back in time, as it becomes no longer a story about who committed the crime, but how this whole situation came into being.

However, it’s not just that plot that’s the most important. Seeing as this film requires such extreme concentration at every second, you get the opportunity to see a whole lot deeper into the plot, revealing a whole extra story that you wouldn’t have expected if you were just watching this as a normal thriller, allowing the final twist, which comes at the final whistle, to be even more incredible, unexpected and impacting upon you.

Away from that story, there are some very impressive performances too. Obviously, these characters, of which there are few, in fact only three or so most important ones, are incredibly enigmatic, however Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano all put in fantastic efforts to really bring these incredibly complex people to life.

Overall, this gets an 8.6, because of its stunningly original and intelligent screenplay, filled with fascinating and unpredictable plot lines and intriguing characters.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com