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Memento - Film Review

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Introduction

Film Review Directed by: Christopher Nolan Starring: Guy Pearce Carrie-Anne Moss Joe Pantoliano Memento is an extremely unique 'film noir' drama directed by Christopher Nolan, famous for his recent re-birth of the Batman series and currently at the helm of the long awaited 'The Dark Knight'. Most of his films are difficult to put into a set genre, as they often contain elements of drama, horror, mysteries and action all at the same time. Since his directorial debut 11 years ago, Nolan has been heavily praised as a 'true visionary' and named 'one of the greatest intelligent directors of all time' by multiple critics, as well as being renowned for his efficiency and perfectionism both whilst filming, and in the editing room. It is no surprise then, that the content and style of Memento is so different to any other mainstream movie you might see this year. The film follows Leonard Shelby (portrayed by Guy Pearce), a man whose wife died after being raped when two men broke into his home, violating her and leaving him with an injury that causes anterograde amnesia. However, only one of the assailants involved is caught and arrested, causing Leonard to become a vigilante and avenge his wife, using notes and tattoos to help him track down the villain who killed her. ...read more.

Middle

It may take us a while to relate to the main character, as we first see him commit murder before we even hear him speak, but it's not long before we feel that we can be on his side. Leonard plays a complicated role, which is further complicated by both his condition and his actions that we don't always know about, but Guy Pearce fits the role majestically, and pulls off the frequent loss of memory with great finesse. Originally, Brad Pitt was considered for this role, but personally I'm glad he turned it down, as Pitt isn't known for roles like the disabled Leonard, and is instead renowned for anarchistic or secret agent-type parts, and although I would only want to praise his acting ability after seeing him in David Fincher's Fight Club, it may have been harder to take his character as seriously as Guy Pearce is able to bring the character to life. Joe Pantoliano stands out in his performance as Teddy, a police officer and seemingly the main character's friend, though Leonard has to be reminded of who he is every time they meet, as the director's first choice for this role he succeeds in showing his capabilities of feeling both pity and having to lie on screen at the same time, a great challenge for any actor. ...read more.

Conclusion

seen as anti-climatic, as it is only really the audience that really finds out what is going on, although it is likely that you'll be in so much of a shock at the twist revealed at the end and thinking about what has already happened that what happens next seems unimportant in comparison anyway. The movie is full of loving nods to other independent movies and isn't without its own dark, sometimes ironic sense of humour, which is injected at regular intervals and can help to push the film along. The film made an astonishingly large profit in both cinema and DVD sales, and continues to baffle even the sharpest critics today. It won no less than 40 different awards and was nominated for more than 30 on top of those, and currently has a place at #29 on the Internet Movie Database's top 250 films of all time, with over 180,000 voters from around the world. If you do get around to seeing this movie, it will be one that you want to see again, perhaps straight afterwards to fill in the clever blanks and notice the subtle allusions that the filmmakers have included to puzzle us the first time round. Whatever you make of it, and whether or not you understand it all at once, you'll probably find it hard to stop watching, and it's not a movie that you will soon forget. ...read more.

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