When a woman is fed up with the movie
based on a story by Jonathan Nolan
Guy Pearce (Leonard), Carrie-Anne Moss (Natalie), Joe Pantoliano (Teddy), Mark Boone Jr. (Burt), Stephen Tobolowsky (Sammy Jankis), Harriet Sansom Harris (Mrs. Jankis)
If you, as a reviewer, tell your readers about the special features of this film, its "condition", you don't know how often they have heard the story. So keep it short because it shouldn't take more than ten to fifteen minutes to read this review. After this period of time, our hero, former insurance agent Leonard, forgets everything that did not happen before the event that destroyed his old life, the rape and murder of his wife. Since his short-term memory has been so limited, he has to rely on other things, on notes, Polaroids and tattoos, in order to still be able to achieve the only goal of his life despite the adverse circumstances: to kill his wife, who also destroyed his life kill.
The viewer witnesses this execution right at the beginning of the film, because (as was the case with the otherwise unremarkable "Pay it Forward") the film is partly told in reverse order, which puts the viewer in Leonard's position, because with every "rewind" "New details reveal themselves, you have to put what you see in context again and again.
Leonard himself wouldn’t have the time to do this, and during a chase he’s sometimes even forgotten whether he’s the pursuer or the persecuted, so he has to listen to his instincts. The viewer quickly doubts whether Teddy, the man he kills at the beginning of the film, is really responsible for the death of Leonard's wife, but since "don't believe his lies" is written on the Polaroid with Teddy's face on the back you don't believe him. The only question that arises is who one can believe: his memory, his eyes, his own handwriting?
The narrative thread of the film can (like every thread) be torn apart from both ends, one repeatedly comes across small knots, but when you come across the middle section in the film that makes up the end of the film, of course a punch line follows, and you want to watch the film again with the new prior knowledge, a luxury that Leonard cannot afford.
A nested little neo-noir thriller which, apart from the cut in the staging, offers little extraordinary (a narrative thread is in black and white), but which is also not necessary, because in this case it shows once again that the cut is the highest of all film arts is.
"Memento" was the 201st film that I saw this year. And the 202nd!
The following considerations are for people who have already seen the movie. Or in other words: SPOILER ALERT!
When you see "Memento" for the second time, you notice a lot of little things because you are a few steps ahead of the story. For example, the first time I didn't notice that in the discussion between Leonard and Natalie, whom Dodd had badly battered, there was an intercut to a close-up of Leonard's hand that apparently hurts him.
Neither did I notice that Leonard told Natalie that one of the places on his body that he didn't have a tattoo on was, so to speak, reserved for the "final tattoo," that reminder that he had achieved his goal in life. Later we see this blood-smeared Polaroid, where overjoyed it points to this very spot at the level of the heart. The scene, which is the crux of a serious interpretation of the film, shows a memory of Leonard lying in bed with his wife. Already when watching the film for the first time, almost every viewer notices in this short shot that Leonard is already wearing the tattoo on his body that reads "John G. raped and murdered my wife". You cannot see the entire lettering, but with the English sentence structure "subject predicate object" the middle section alone does not make any sense. Only when I watched the film a second time did I notice an important detail at this point: Leonard also has a tattoo at heart level, of which you can only see "I've". It is very likely that the whole sentence will be "I've killed him" or something like that. Which of course doesn't really help us in our level of knowledge.
Leonard often points out to us during the film that one should only stick to facts. Towards the end of the film we realize that even Leonard's notes are not necessarily the ultimate truth in themselves. What exactly are the facts?
Teddy claims he was the policeman who was put on Leonard's case. However, Teddy is at best a very corrupt and not particularly moral policeman, if he is a policeman at all. At one point he briefly shows his dog tag, but anyone can forge it. Teddy also claims that Leonard never had a wife, which of course can hardly be reduced to a common denominator with his story that he is supposed to solve the murder of Leonard's wife.
Did Leonard have a wife? We never see a picture of her, always only his memories, we don't even find out her name. Everything is very suspicious. Of course we get to know her in Leonard's memories before the "Incident," but aside from that key scene, there are also two versions of a memory that cite either pinching her thigh or an insulin shot as the reason for her "Ow!" Or was it Sammy Jankis Teddy said he didn't have a wife? My memory is already failing again.
The first time I watched the film, I wondered how Leonard was supposed to have found out about the circumstances surrounding the death of Sammy Janki's wife. She didn't survive it herself, Sammy can't remember it. It may be possible to prove three times the insulin dose, perhaps one can also reconstruct the event using the wristwatch, which is half an hour behind, but we don't see a vague reconstruction of the course of events, but a detailed representation including Sammy's facial expression and the last sentence he was watching his wife says. Even if Leonard was to blame for death in this way his Woman, that would not clarify where the memory handicapped got this information from.
Don't expect me to solve the riddles of the film here. But on the contrary. One more important scene has to be mentioned. When Sammy is admitted to an institution after the death of his wife, it becomes clear why Leonard had always had the impression that Sammy recognized him (which also led to Leonard's insulin death in one way or another (if it was she gave) Withwas guilty), because here too, Sammy begs for a few pats on the back by showing the doctors that he recognizes them. But at this point there is a »Fight Club« moment that only the really attentive viewer will notice. For a split second, it's not Sammy, but Leonard sitting on the plastic chair, so the truthfulness of this information is also very questionable.
The decisive experience after viewing the film for the second time is that, although the small questions that one still had are answered, the BIG questions that are new cannot find an answer without further ado.
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