If I told you that I had found the best movie of the year way back in March, you'd probably call me delusional. But such is the case with Christopher Nolans "Memento". This is the kind of movie that I just can't say enough about so if you havent seen it, stop reading and run (not walk) to see it now!!!!!
But anyway, "Memento" really is the best film of the year. It has everything going for it: It's original, well acted, written and directed. Guy Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, a former insurance investigator searching for his wife's killer. This isn't very easy for poor Leonard, because during the assault on his wife, he got a blow to the head that left him with no short-term memory. His condition is so bad that he might be in the middle of a conversation and forget who hes talking to! To act as reminders, he has Polaroid snapshots of whom he has met and where he has been. Important notes are tattooed on his body. Along the way, he meets bartender Natalie (Carrie Anne Moss) and a shady man who calls himself Teddy (Joe Pantoliano). Are they helping Leonard, or are they just using him for their own reasons?
This would be enough to set up a decent enough thriller, but "Memento" goes the extra mile. The gimmick here is the entire movie runs backwards meaning each scene plays the events that ran before the previous scene (got that?). This works as a way to put us in Leonard's shoes; to give us a little of what he is going through. If you think the film is confusing, imagine what living with Leonards condition would be like!
It is strangely chilling to watch Leonard pursue his killer (who he has identified as JOHN G). What happens when he finds him? Natalie observes that "even if you kill him, you're not going to know it." What's scary is that once he completes his mission, Leonard will not want to know. Leonard has to has a purpose to his life; that is why he must kill. Without "John G" to follow, his life is meaningless. This makes Leonard one of the greatest (if less blatant) movie psychos of all time.
"Memento" is a great movie. It has an air to it that will make even the most jaded viewer want to see it again. I have seen this film twice, and could see it every month... it would be quite a trip.
"Now... where was I?"