This one isn’t actually old enough to fall into the Movies I’ve Missed category, but it’s close enough, and anyway, that ten-year-cutoff I mentioned a while back isn’t a hard and fast rule. Even if it was, it’s my rule, so I can change it.
As for the movie itself, I’ve wanted to watch it ever since it came out and finally got around to it. As someone who struggles with short-term memory myself from time to time, I can sympathize with the protagonist, who has no short-term memory at all and is still trying to track down his wife’s killer. MEMENTO got as much notice for its structure as for anything else, I think, and it’s certainly odd, since each scene ends where the previous scene began . . . or something like that. I watched it last night, and I’m still a little confused. But the plot basically runs backwards, and given that, you’d think it would be impossible to have a surprise ending. MEMENTO manages to do just that, though, and it’s quite an achievement in storytelling.
I like Guy Pearce and Joe Pantoliano, and they’re both fine here. Director Christopher Nolan has gone on to much bigger things (Batman movies). I think he could have picked up the pace a little in this one. Overall, MEMENTO is one of those movies that I admired quite a bit, but it’s hard to say that I actually enjoyed it. It’s so odd that that mixed reaction may be the best I can do. But I’m glad I saw it after all this time.
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