What you need to know about Memento before watching is that (1) the black and white sequences are chronological and the coloured ones are reverse chronological. I went in blind, as per usual, and the film is confusing enough without making it harder for yourself.
The film itself is incredibly fascinating. Memento is one of these films that are meant to confuse you. We have Leonard, who suffers from short term memory loss and who’s on the search for his wife’s killer with the help of tattoos, notes and polaroid pictures. I have to learn to trust my handwriting, he says.
I will boldly admit that in my opinion, the greatest thing about Memento is director Christopher Nolan. While we’re all confused, there’s just enough of light to make us see what’s happening right ahead of us. Our hero has amnesia, but the repetition never gets tiring (Don Jon, I’m looking at you) and Nolan keeps us at the edge of our seats, each new twist making the film even more clever and interesting. I can’t tell you any of the twists, of course, but god, I want to.
Now – Guy Pearce. He made the film his, even with all the genius of Nolan. We emphatise with Leonard, because we’ve earned our trust issues with the other people in the film – Teddy, whose identity keeps changing, and Natalie, whose relationship with Leonard is probably the most confusing part of the film. And if you, like I, at one point discover how unreliable our amnesiac Leonard is, you just give up on trying to guess what is the truth and enjoy the journey from the end to the beginning.
So, thank you Stevee, who listed Memento as her favourite film and gave me the push to add this to my Blind Spot Series. It was a fascinating watch and made me truly appreciate both Nolan and Pearce. Oh, do watch this, if you haven’t already.