'Memento' Review By Jakn

Christopher Nolan's first movie is an original, clever, and rich and rare thriller that provokes you into guessing about the film's plot mystery
  • OVERALL
    5.0
    SUPERB
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
This first movie of Christopher Nolan's 'Memento' isn't just another thriller from Hollywood. Some people may find 'Memento' to be a psychological thriller, but I certainly didn't. I found it to be what I call "A great time-scrabbled, jigsaw puzzle thriller". 'Memento' is that type of movie that you seriously have to pay full attention to so that it will understand it to make complete sense. Yes, 'Memento' does make absolute sense, but if you don't pay attention or miss one, just one second of this film then you will get confused, lost and frustrated. So it's very important that you pay your full attention to 'Memento'. Of course that wouldn't be very hard for the fans of Christopher Nolan (including myself).

Now for people who haven't seen 'Memento' the question to asks yourselves is "Why could we get lost and confused with I miss one second of 'Memento'?" Well think of the movie 'Pulp Fiction'. Think of that movies theme and filmmaking. Notice that 'Pulp Fiction' was also a jigsaw puzzle thriller. The film's time-line was scrabbled into bits and pieces, and when the movie ended you had to put of the pieces of the film's puzzle together from beginning to end (not from how it was filmed). Now that you have the jigsaw puzzle of 'Pulp Fiction' put together think of all that filmed backwards. That's what 'Memento' is. It's a jigsaw puzzle filmed backwards. That's one of the main reasons why you have to pay full attention to the movie. If you haven't seen 'Pulp Fiction' then this entire paragraph you've just read was not at all helpful to you. Either way if you have or haven't seen 'Pulp Fiction' then read the next paragraph below.

I will be explaining the other reason why you have to pay your attention to 'Memento' as I explain what the movie is about. Christopher Nolan's brilliant mystery jigsaw puzzle thriller is about a man named Leonard (Guy Pearce) who forgets everything that happens every five minutes from his condition he had in his incident. Leonard seems to bring up his condition to nearly every person he sees. Last thing he remembers is his wife (Jorja Fox) and how he got his brain-damaged. Leonard tries to find his wife's murder. What he does for clues and support his that Leonard takes photographs, writes notes, and write tattoos on himself to help him give him support and help from suffering his condition.

Now the fact that this character, Leonard forgets everything about every five minutes is another reason why you must put all of your attention during the film, including the plot and mystery to its story. Another reason why you could get lost is that there are two characters in the movie that are (not entirely friends) to Leonard's life. These two characters are Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss) a single woman who has also lost someone close to her and a guy named Teddy (Joe Pantoliano). SPIOLER: In the beginning you'll think that Teddy is Leonard's wife's killer from some find-outs Leonard finds on his notes, but as the film develops forward by slowly going back in time you notice who Natalie sometimes messes with Leonard's mind and also seems the Teddy also tries to mess with Leonard. I will keep you guessing on the films clever puzzle-piecing mystery in its story.

So now put all of these pieces of my review's and film's puzzle. The movie is filmed backwards, the main character has short-term memory lost that writes notes on himself to support him of finding his wife's killer and ruined Leonard's life, there are characters that you can't tell wheatear they are trying to help Leonard or set Leonard up. All of these reasons are why you must pay your attention to 'Memento'.

I'm here to tell you that to more you pay attention to 'Memento' as its way of filmmaking is filmed backwards, the better and development to the mystery, the story, the plot, the clues, the cleverness, puzzle-piecing, and filmmaking gets. 'Memento' is an original, clever, enthralling, jigsaw puzzle-piecing, rich & rare thought-provoking thriller with complexly spectacular filmmaking, an extraordinary mystery with magnificent narration and storytelling, including an incredibility-written script that looks it took Nolan his butt of the work on with its good plot, and a really great story! It will leave you speechless from beginning to end! These are the things what I find to the best things about 'Memento', the mystery, the story, the filmmaking, the script and the plot.

Other then all those things, the acting is actually pretty well acted out. Guy Pearce's performance in 'Memento' is remarkable, especially when he's playing the role of a guy who can't remember anything one bit organizing himself with notes and photographs, and I bet this role took a while for Pearce to fully understand and get into, but you can see that Pearce knows exactly how to be his character. Honestly Pearce's performance was so great that I couldn't really see Pearce fully on screen. Let's just put this way, if I wanted to point at Pearce on the screen and say aloud "There's Guy Pearce" I would not be able to do it, not enough saying it in my head. I've only not been able to do that to only a few actors and few performances, but that doesn't make Pearce's performance in 'Memento' isn't nearly one of the best performance I've ever seen, but he still brings a terrific performance.

There are certain scenes when Guy Pearce is flat-out hilarious with his character, and also can bring emotion tragedy in certain scenes. Like in one scene when he gets so frustrated about how he can barely remember anything you can actually feel his pain of frustration, and especially during when he stays the night at Natalie's he brings more emotion talking about who long the loss of his wife could have been. You sometimes feel so sorry for Pearce's character that you wish that somehow a miracle would happen to him and get his memory back, but of course that never happens in the film.

Pearce is great with his acting in 'Memento'. This is one of the best performances in Guy Pearce's carrier. Even though he wasn't nominated an Oscar for Best Actor, his performance is Oscar-worthy! As for Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano, there performances are good.

The directing Christopher Nolan does is perfect and beautiful! It's another Oscar that Nolan should have been nominated for. You think to yourself "What is wrong with the Academy? Do they got something against Nolan or something?" , but anyways. The directing is one of the best things about 'Memento' and one of the best films of Christopher Nolan. If you're a fan of Nolan and haven't seen this, I'd suggest you see it right away.

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Comments (12)

  1. Jakn

    Thanks everybody! And to answer your question @kguy, there might be a possiblity that I will return to reviews after summer, but for now, I'm gonna be busy, and also have fun.

    4 years agoby @jaknFlag

  2. The Boondock Saint

    @SpaceCowboy well, I am a fan of robin williams' serious work, so I may actually try to finish the film soon. I still have it on my instant queue.

    4 years agoby @combatmadness360Flag

  3. SpaceCowboy

    @combatmadness360 I'll admit the first hour is kind of a tease. Very little happens. Heck you could argue that nothing happens in the first half, but Robin Williams really is great in it and doesn't show up until the last hour of the movie. You really should trya nd give it another shot. You might like it.

    4 years agoby @SpaceCowboyFlag

  4. Corey W.

    @gallagher Following was a brilliant film!

    Great review as wel jakn.

    4 years agoby @coreyFlag

  5. The Boondock Saint

    @SpaceCowboy well, I never finished movie, so I am kind of talking out of my ass. Thinking about it now, I watched less of it then I have thought before. But I just never had any interest to re visit the film.

    4 years agoby @combatmadness360Flag

  6. Worth5Bucks

    nice review

    4 years agoby @mattbierwagenFlag

  7. SpaceCowboy

    @jakn Great review! I myself am working on a "Memento" review. Won't have it up on MW because a few years ago I did one and it's stuck on here as a 2 paragraph crappy read. But I did do a review for the Blu-ray that I think you should check out. Oh, and by the way "Following" was Christopher Nolan's first film, not "Memento." But still, Memento is frickin' genius!

    @combatmadness360 And what are you talking about?!?! Insomnia was great! Might be my 2nd or 3rd favorite of Nolan's. I mean, We've seen the plot a thousand times like from Seven and The Silence of the Lambs, but it's different in Insomnia. This guy is living with guilt and almost befriends the killer he's tracking down. And whenever you see Al Pacino on screen with Robin Williams it's just electric! Robin Williams in serious roles is a real treat whenever we get to see them and his performance in Insomnia was in fact a real treat.

    4 years agoby @SpaceCowboyFlag

  8. Brian Gallagher

    FYI, this is not Nolan's first movie. His first movie was Following in 1998. It's rather short, but at just over an hour, it's hard to call it a "short film." Check it out sometime. I loved it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0154506/combined

    4 years agoby @gallagherFlag

  9. Nautical

    I dig. Great Review.

    4 years agoby @nautical05Flag

  10. The Boondock Saint

    fantastic review. I rented this film once, but then someone spoiled the plot to me (minutes before I was going to watch it) so I then had no interest in watching it. now, the twist is a little bit blurry to me, so I may check it out again soon. I hope it's better than nolan's INSOMNIA, which is just a dull f*cking film.

    4 years agoby @combatmadness360Flag

  11. skywise

    Awesome review..this is still my favorite Nolan film. Yes even moreso that TDK and Inception which i loved. I really liked how you compared it to a puzzle. I adore this movie but i find that many of my friends felt that it was repetitive but the things that people hate about th is movie are exavtly what others love about it. While the story isnot that deep, its the presentation that makes it work. Starting from the end and working its way to the beginning is brilliant and the editing is fantastic. So glad to see you gave it such high ratings because in my min it really deserves it. Plus the black and white interludes (which eventually play into the story) are down right brilliant, This was the first Nolan movie i saw and i knew this man was going places and go places he has.

    Brilliant acting, great narration and superb ( i NEVER use that word - but here i cant think of a better word to use) editing makes this one of the finest pieces og filmaking in history (IMO).

    Again GREAT review sir. absolutly loved this read.

    For anyone who is skeptical about the premise or the chopped up order of the movie need not worry7, put aside your worries and chack this out asap.

    4 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  12. K.Guy

    I really want to watch this movie! Nice review and do you think you can come back somewhere in the future.

    4 years agoby @kguyFlag

Jakn's Reviews (140)