Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Movies I've Missed (Until Now): Memento

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.

8 comments:

Laurie Powers said...

I saw this movie when it first came out and after I got over my initial response of "what the...", I LOVED it. Funny, I haven't seen it played on cable or any of the movie channels at all. Maybe because it's so odd - I think it's a candidate for Turner Classic Movies eventually. Fell in love with Pantoliano in this movie - brilliant.

Dave Lewis said...

Be interesting to try this flashback-upon-flashback approach in a novel.

David Cranmer said...

This is one of my favorite films of the last decade. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it more. I had to watch it twice myself when it originally came out and picked up tidbits that I had missed the first time around.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It may be the sort of movie you need to see right away before it gets overblown by the media and fans. Hearing anything about it will only ruin it. I loved it at the time.

Jake Murdock said...

I was blown away by the film when it came out. I'll confess that I had to see it twice to fully get everything down, (which allowed me to catch a few things that I missed) but I thought it was the best film released that year. Based on a pretty cool short story by Nolan's brother, that can be read on-line.

http://www.impulsenine.com/homepage/pages/shortstories/memento_mori.htm

Livia said...

I probably shouldn't have watched it with a bad headache. It made my head spin.

Graham Powell said...

This movie was a lot funnier than I expected. "What am I doing? I'm chasing this guy... No, no, he's chasing me."

Juri said...

I recall catching an inconsistency in this, but I can't remember what it was. It was something about the end. it's maybe a bit soulless.