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In what way does the opening of the film Memento align the audience with and enable us to understand the main character Leonard Shelby

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Introduction

In what way does the opening of the film Memento align the audience with and enable us to understand the main character Leonard Shelby From the start of the film 'Memento' the audience is instantly hooked, and compelled to carry on watching the film, to find out whether Leonard Shelby will accomplish his mission to avenge his wife, by finding and killing the man who raped and murdered her. Since the rape and murder of his wife, Leonard has had no short-term memory, and this is his final memory. Leonard continues to survive by using post-it notes, and Polaroid pictures, as well as the help of Teddy, an undercover police officer, using clever and strategic survival techniques and a bar-maid, Natalie, both of whom possibly have their own different reasons for helping Leonard. The film's use of techniques such as switching between black and white scenes, and running in a non-chronological order confuses the audience as well as giving them a reason to carry on watching the movie. The story is like no other, and the audience is just as determined as Leonard Shelby, to find out who it was that raped and murdered his wife, and to see if she is avenged. ...read more.

Middle

Each day he has to start again, and nothing makes sense. Even though the audience might now feel more relieved and at rest, that they have a very possible answer to all that has been confusing us up to now, there is still a slight doubt in what is happening, and we still feel slightly uncertain, as, of course, is the director's intention. The killer's voice plays over the black and white scene as a voiceover. It shows us his feeling of confusion, and the many questions he has. We begin to feel we understand him, and start to empathise with him, and even share his confusion. From thinking this person was a cold-blooded killer, and having every bit of remorse from him, our opinions change very quickly, and it is even as if a bond has been formed between the audience and this character. The non-chronological order of the film also hints that his experience of time is also very mixed up. This makes us feel even more sympathy towards him. Once again there is an abrupt change to the next scene, and it is back to colour. ...read more.

Conclusion

We are shown further point of view shots of Lenny's reminders (which he uses for minor tasks such as shaving, to much more major ones, for example to kill Teddy!) and Polaroid's, and finally we begin to understand his system and the great extent he has to go to, to survive. I feel the opening of the film 'Memento', definitely succeeded in its goals, which I believe to be to keep the audience asking more and more questions, which in turn were answered as the film progressed. The opening of the film uses devices to their full advantages, keeping me watching the film, with curiosity. The most powerful device in my opinion were the low and high-angle shots, signifying strength and weakness, this device played a large part in my mind of building an opinion of the characters. Another achievement is the regular "replayability", which in my opinion meant that subsequent viewing were almost as rewarding as the first. In my opinion, Lenny is a victim as well as a hero, with full determination to fight for, and to achieve a goal that seems impossible. The film 'Memento' is frustrating, but at the same time cleverly plotted and leaves the mind in an exhilarating state, a complete success in its goals. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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