Memento is written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film follows Leonard (Guy Pearce), who is trying to track down the man that murdered and raped his wife. However, he struggles with this due to his reoccurring short-term memory loss. He copes with this by writing everything that he deems important, on photos and on his body. He does this in an effort to find out who killed his wife.
The best aspect of the film is how you are thrown into Leonard's shoes, while part of this is due to Guy Pearce's great performance, this is mostly due to director Christoper Nolan's brilliance in writing and directing. He does this by using repetition and telling the story in reverse.
This film uses repetition very effectively. Leonard constantly suffers from his short-term memory and has to remind himself of what his life looks like after the event that causes his short-term memory loss. He does this by checking his pictures and his writing to see what he drives, where he lives, what clues he has, and which people are a part of his life, as well as how he feels about these people. Like I said, the film does this a lot, putting emphasis on his condition. This, as well as Pearce's performance, makes the condition extremely believable.
The film is brilliantly told in reverse. As the film progresses backwards, not only is more revealed about Leonard's character, but just as much is revealed about the characters around him. What kind of a person they are, what their motivations are, and why they're involved in the life of someone like Leonard. It feels like peeling an onion, each time the film works its way backwards, we get another layer of these characters around him. This is done well throughout the course of this film and makes their motivations and their role in Leonard's life clear by the end of the film.
As these characters around him develop, a question is posed. Who killed Leonard's wife? During the beginning of the film, there is a prime suspect with an overwhelming amount of evidence for this question. But as the film goes on, this becomes unclear and more characters are thrown into the mix. As the characters develop they also become part of the list of suspects. This creates a feeling of uncertainty throughout the course of the film, which makes the film addictive and fun to figure out.
Another great aspect of this film is how it creates a question during the film and quickly answer itself as the film works its way backwards. This helps you put the clues together and gets you that much closer to solving the murder. The film does this a lot and the sequences are short and choppy. Although, halfway through the film there is a particular sequence that drags on and I ended up forgetting what question I was trying to answer in the first place. Fortunately, the film picks back up after this.
Overall, Memento is an excellent film. It's brilliantly written and directed. Nolan does a great job of putting you in Leonard's shoes, which makes the film addictive. Guy Pearce gives a great performance, that is complimented by the supporting actors who are well written and have great character development. This film is one of a kind and makes for an easy: 10/10