Memento was easily one of my blind spot films that I was most excited to watch. It's Stevee Taylor's favorite movie of all time, which in itself is worth a thousand reasons I should watch it, and in the top 10 of countless lists floating around the internet - including many an IMDB Top list. In contrary to many other of my blind spots, I actually knew about Memento a long time before I moved to the island of film lovers (as Ryan McNeil - sort of - puts it: the more movies you watch, the more blind spots you never even knew you had, you discover). I owe this knowledge to one of the sides of Indian cinema that I've always been critical of: it's affection for remaking films from other corners of the world (primarily Hollywood blockbusters). So Ghajini, a 2008 Bollywood hit remake of Memento, marked my first encounter with the Memento Mori story. Ironically enough, this movie was also a Hindi-language remake of the 2005 Kollywood (Tamil-language) film of the same name by the same director. At any rate, Ghajini was fairly enjoyable, mainly because of its cinematography and the man who turns iron into gold, Indian superstar Aamir Khan. However, it didn't ignite a burning desire to watch the original Memento in me.
Six years later, I'm a movie buff who is exposed to many film titles and sort of knows her way around the 'big ones', even those I haven't seen yet. Memento definitely rings many bells, and more so: it's on my highly-guarded watch list (which I recently decided won't be updated until I've seen all of it). Now that I've seen it, I can only join the choir of adoration for this film. It is by far the most thrilling film I have seen in a long time and defines 'not being able to take your eyes off the screen' anew. This has little to do with Guy Pearce's spectacular body (seriously, how does he remember to keep in shape *plot hole*?) and much with the way this story is told. Personally, I have always been a believer in the "It's not about what you do, it's about the way you do it" philosophy (yep, that's a Remember Me quote right there), which is why I tend towards the well-shot, well-edited, stylized kind of films more often than I probably should. Memento is one of the best arguments why I'm right though: it certainly is an interesting story and a psychological drama but that's not what makes it so awesome in any way possible. No, it's the backwards narration that makes this film deserve its place among the films that everyone should see once in their life time.
Watching Memento made me bite my nails, tear out my hair and crush my favorite teddy bear. It's a film that stands out not only because it's one of the few films I watched this month and it's one that I am going to re-watch many a time in the future. Well... if I remember to do so.
2000 • USA • English
director Christopher Nolan
authors Christopher Nolan, (Jonathan Nolan)
★ Guy Pearce, Cary-Anne moss, Joe Pantoliano
final frame STRAWBERRY EXPLOSION
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