An absolute stunner of a movie, Memento combines a bold, mind-bending script with compelling action and virtuoso performances. Guy Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, hunting down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The problem is that "the incident" that robbed Leonard of his wife also stole his ability to make new memories. Unable to retain a location, a face, or a new clue on his own, Leonard continues his search with the help of notes, Polaroids, and even homemade tattoos for vital information. Because of his condition, Leonard essentially lives his life in short, present-tense segments, with no clear idea of what's just happened to him. That's where Memento gets really interesting; the story begins at the end, and the movie jumps backward in 10-minute segments. The suspense of the movie lies not in discovering what happens, but in finding out why it happened. Amazingly, the movie achieves edge-of-your-seat excitement even as it moves backward in time! , and it keeps the mind hopping as cause and effect are pieced together.
Pearce captures Leonard perfectly, conveying both the tragic romance of his quest and his wry humour in dealing with his condition. He is bolstered by several excellent supporting players including Carrie-Anne Moss, and the movie is all but stolen by Moss' fellow Matrix co-star Joe Pantoliano, who delivers an amazing performance as Teddy, the guy who may or may not be on his side. Memento has an intriguing structure and even meditations on the nature of perception and meaning of life if you go looking for them, but it also functions just as well as a completely absorbing thriller. It's rare to find a movie this exciting with so much intelligence behind it. --Ali Davis, Amazon.com
On the DVD: this amazing movie looks crisp and clean in a good anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) picture accompanied by Dolby 5.1 sound. The menu is almost as baffling as the movie itself, but once you master the navigation you'll find interviews, biographies, a tattoo picture gallery and the shooting script among other extras. Most mind-boggling of all, however, is the "Memento Mori" option in the special features menu, which allows you to play a specially re-edited version of the movie in chronological order, beginning with the end credits running backwards!
MEMENTO, the second feature by writer-director Christopher Nolan (FOLLOWING), is an intricately constructed film noir that masterfully inverts time to comment on the foggy relationship between memory and truth. MEMENTO tells the story of Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), a former insurance investigator who witnesses a brutal attack on his wife. Knocked unconscious, Leonard wakes up with a rare brain condition--he no longer possesses short-term memory. He can remember his name and all the details of his past, but he can no longer make new memories. Armed with a careful system of remembering details (he compulsively snaps Polaroids and scribbles notes, then tattoos the important facts directly onto his body), the distraught Leonard goes on a manhunt to avenge his wife's death. To illustrate the unique and frightening state of the protagonist's mind (he cannot remember what happened even seconds before), Nolan takes a brilliantly successful risk in telling the story backward. The film begins with Leonard killing the man he's looking for. From there MEMENTO unravels a compellingly disconcerting trail back to the start. As the layers of the story are peeled back scene by scene, Leonard's involvement with two enigmatic "friends"--who both claim to be helping him--complicates the mystery.
Based on a short story by the director's brother, Jonathan Nolan, MEMENTO is an incredibly original film that is so wonderfully puzzling and eerily ambiguous that it will surely warrant repeated viewings.
Actors: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Directors: Christopher Nolan
Format: Box set, PAL, Special Edition, Widescreen
Region: Region 2 ( DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Pathe Distribution
DVD Release Date: 27 Dec 2004
Run Time: 109 minutes
Main Language: English
Available Audio Tracks: DTS
Hearing Impaired: English
Original Theatrical Trailer
IFC Interview With Writer And Director Christopher Nolan
Director And Cast Biographies
Memento Mori By Jonathan Nolan
Special Hidden Feature The Beginning of the End