Memento (2000) Directed By Christopher Nolan. With Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano.
Sometimes, it’s the way you tell ’em. Such is true of Christopher Nolan’s Memento. Based on a short story by brother, Jonathan Nolan, the film is both inventive and compelling as it tells its story in small chapters moving backwards through the narrative. This editing style is unique to the point that you feel as though you are witnessing something that has never been done before.
The story itself is very simple, the execution is a work of sheer excellence. Guy Pearce is Leonard Shelby, a man who through personal tragedy, has lost the ability to create new memories beyond ten minutes – and is forced to keep detailed records of everything he does in order to function. Early on we learn the catalyst for Leonard’s memory dysfunction was the murder of his wife. Through tattooed notes inked over most of his body, Leonard is slowly gathering clues as to who her killer may be.
Christopher Nolan’s film is an intimate experience that stays thoroughly focused as the details gradually unravel. In many ways it’s the closest equivalent to a compelling page-turner, as you find yourself eagerly awaiting the next chapter and slice of information. The intimate focus really allows the viewer to become involved in the mystery and affords ample opportunity within to play detective yourself. With a production budget of just $9m Memento is a triumph of intelligent, low-budget film making from a director and creative team that were always destined for greatness. 5/5