Friday, September 11, 2009

Memento (2001)

TOP 100 FILMS: #93

Leonard (Guy Pearce) suffers from short term memory loss, and is currently on a hunt to find the murderer of his wife, who was killed some time ago. Aided by the mysterious Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), and self sustained tattoos that remind him of important clues to the case.

Take The Fugitive, remove the one armed man, throw in short term memory loss for amnesia, and remove the clearing my name angle, and you've got the basic back story to Memento. Granted to even say that is to way undermine Memento whose plot is so filled with intricacies to try and spell them out would be catastrophic and simply impolite. Supported by an amazing cast, Christopher Nolan takes something that could be generic, uncreative and bland, instead crafting a masterpiece in cinema, groundbreaking, mentally challenging, and highly entertaining.

When I first put memento into my DVD player I didn't know what to expect, I had heard hardly anything beyond it's one of those films you just have to see, and well they are right. Told in a complex narrative, starting with the ending and workings its way backwards, while intertwining a narratively simple side-story in black and white of a phone call Leonard has about one Sammy Jankis, all of which relate back to the core story at hand. A basic revenge story of a man seeking out the killer of his wife.

To simply put it, it's narrative genius. Nolan's gift for story telling, and style, grabs a hold of the audience with enough mystery to captivate, and enough creativity to inspire. All the while highlighting a brilliant performance from Pearce, and letting it be known Nolan is to become a unique heavy hitter in Hollywood (as displayed by Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Prestige). Made on a budget of $9 million, ever living proof of how far you can go cinematically (and life in general) if you know how to spend money properly. Of course I'm not here to rant, this is about the greatness that is Nolan's introduction to the world, Memento.

Worth every view, and penny, Memento is one of the great cinema masterpieces of the last 10 years, a true representation of what the 00's should be remembered for.

3 better thoughts:

Prestonkm said...

You don't know how happy I am to see this on your list. It's one of my favorite films.

Univarn said...

Thanks Preston! Long time to no see, you still around reviewing?

filmgeek said...

"Memento is one of the great cinema masterpieces of the last 10 years, a true representation of what the 00's should be remembered for."

Well said :)

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