I finally watched Memento, after it had been recommended to me about a year ago.
The movie is about Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) who suffers from short term memory loss, after he incurred an injury when burglars had broken into his house and attacked his wife. Having lost his wife and his memory, Shelby sets out on a personal vendetta to find one of the burglars responsible for the turn his life took. While searching for the burglar, John G., he meets Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) and Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss) who both aid Leonard in his investigation in some way.
Those who have seen the movie would argue that this synopsis fails miserably, but this is where everyone must start. I recommend this movie for its plot line and its method of story telling. The movie has co-linear story-telling lines, one from the past to the present and the other from the present to the past. The storyline that goes in reverse chronological order is told in short snippets, which reflect the way Leonard experiences reality with his short term memory loss. That was the most incredible part of this movie; we experienced the story as Leonard would: the temporary reality that was described by the notes he carried and what people told him at the time. He had a few minutes where everything made sense, before he would fall back to sleep and wake with no recollection of anything except before his injury. Thus with the backwards story telling, we are getting the same “moment of reality” experience Leonard is, but at the same time we find out what the story is, and remember the various plot twists that occur from the beginning to the end. As a family member once said, “Their method of story telling shows up how much the audience is under the control of the story teller.” I think this is what made Memento a good movie to watch. I don’t feel particularly drawn to watch a second time anytime soon, but perhaps down the line I’ll watch it again, now knowing the full story.
In any case, I do recommend the movie. It was an interesting viewing experience, different from most other movies that I have watched.