Quick recap: A man without the ability to form short term memories hunts for his wife’s killer.
Fun (?) fact: There aren’t many fun facts that don’t give away the mystery, so I’ll go with a personal one I just realized: Natalie and Teddy in Memento played Trinity and Cypher in The Matrix.
My thoughts: While searching for images from Memento, I fell down a rabbit hole of memento mori blogs. In case you don’t know, memento mori is/was the practice of photographing people after they die. It was most popular in the Victorian Age, a time when people didn’t have Instagram and pictures took 15-20 minutes to take. It turns out that most memento mori pictures are fakes or are people who just closed their eyes at the worst possible moment. I’ve taken some really bad photos in my lifetime and it mortifies me to think someone would find it 100 years later and think I was dead because I looked so bad.
And now on to my actual review of Memento– I liked it. I knew I would like it because it’s been one of my favorite movies since it came out, but it especially pleased me that it has aged well. The movie is shot backwards, so the first scene you see is chronologically the last, which sounds gimmicky but totally works. Plus, Memento is directed by Christopher Nolan so if anyone can pull this off, it’s him. My favorite thing about this movie is that when you watch a scene, it’s incredibly confusing and your opinions of people change constantly, but then you watch the next scene (or chronologically prior scene) and a little more context comes to light. It’s a puzzle within a puzzle and it’s just as complicated as I remember.
Watching Memento this round, I found myself drawn to the concept of memory. It’s basic knowledge at this point to know that memory is faulty and too heavily relied on at times. But there’s this darker side, which I won’t get into because it would spoil the movie, that memory is what we want it to be. It can be manipulated. And as much as I’d like to be honest with myself, there are just some things I’d rather not remember. So as reprehensible parts of Memento are, I’m guilty of doing the same thing- whether it’s deleting a song off of Spotify because it reminds me of someone or deleting an entry in my journal I don’t want to look at again. At the same time, memory is you, the good and the bad side of it. And when your memory is gone, who are you, really?
Final review: 5/5. A lot of people loved this movie when it came out and if it’s been awhile since you have seen it, go watch it again. It gets better with time.
Up next: Run Lola Run