Memento Critique

Memento Critique

Tom Burdak

Movie Critique – “Memento”

The movie “Memento” tells the bizarre story of a man named Leonard who has been left with the inability to create new memories. This condition is the focal point of not only the tension created between the characters, but also through how the story is told. Leonard lives in a world surrounded by constant confusion. Not only does he not know the people around him, many of whom he should know well, but he does not know where he came from since his wife’s death or where he should be going unless he has made note of it or recorded it in a Polaroid. This leaves Leonard to organize this confusion through his pictures and his notes, as they are his only form of new memories. The story of Leonard is a confusing journey that is difficult to convey to the viewer if it were not for the unique method in which the story is told. It is through the method of fragmenting the story, interlacing the fragments, and telling the story out of order that the reader is truly captured by Leonard’s condition, and kept hostage in his world of confusion allowing the viewer to truly feel the impact of the story.

The movie “Memento” is told through two independent sequences of the story. The first takes place starting with the final moments of the story working its way backward in the timeline of the movie, through fragmented segments and presented in color. The second sequence takes place from the beginning of the story containing many flashbacks into Leonard’s past and moves forward through the timeline presented in black and white. These two sequences are fragmented and interlaced throughout the film showing one part of the color segment, then one part of the black and white segment until the two sequences come crashing together at the climax of the movie. Once the two sequences meet, the black and white fades into color symbolizing the moment of clarity in Leonard’s life that tells the viewer just enough to know why Leonard...

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