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Memento

Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano.
Directed/written by: Christopher Nolan


Buy It!

 

In a word— genius. The screenplay is one of the smartest works to actually get made, in perhaps a decade. Christopher Nolan, who scripted this masterpiece, also directed. You have to think the creative combo made this ingenious film as close to what he had intended as possible. His unique filmatic storytelling choices, combined with deep believable characters makes Memento a tremendous visual, as well as, mentally stimulating success.

So extremely complex and brilliantly interwoven is Memento, your afraid to blink, in case another plot clue is given when you do.

The cast is also incredible. Each character more diabolical then the other. Together they guide you into an vortex of suspense not seen before us in quite awhile.

Story goes...Leonard Shelby (Guy -cute, but petite- Pearce) has suffered a terrible loss. His wife was viciously raped and murdered. That's horrendous enough, no? But, poor Leonard was bashed in the head by the murderer and now suffers a rare form of amnesia. He remembers his past up to the "incident" but has lost his short term memory. He can not retain, or even make, new memories.

Think about that concept for a moment. You speak to someone-not from your past- and two minutes later it's as if your seeing them for the very first time.

Lenny has devised a plan to deal with this inability. He takes Polaroid's of people, places, and things that he needs to remember. He keeps them on him and uses them as a life journal. The really important things he has to remember, like the murder's name, a license plate number that may be the killer's, he tattoos onto his body.

Leonard has a couple people helping him find his wife's killer. We meet them in a jumping confusing manner, designed no doubt to help us relate to Lenny's condition. We meet Teddy (Joe - nice toupee - Pantoliano) first. As he's being executed— literally. Teddy's a sneaky chap from the get go. We never quite know what to make of him. Lenny has his Polaroid with him and often refers to his "notes" on the picture to know where he stands with the man.

Then we meet a gal who's been battered, named, Natalie. Lenny has helped her with her abusive mate and she in turn is now assisting Len in his search for the wife killer.

Confusing? It won't be when you sink yourself into the theater seat and fasten your seat belt for one hell of a mental ride.

Guy Pearce is well respected acting talent in his homeland of Australia, but till now hasn't made a big impression on American viewers. He held the title role in that little mansteak studded flick LA Confidential a few years back and we all went "who's that?" Hopefully after this tour-de-force of acting perfection he'll get the more juicy roles thrown his way. It was awfully nice to see his buff six-packed little body shirtless throughout the film. Makes a girl, almost, want to hit the coed gym...

Carrie-Anne Moss is one hell of a versatile actress folks. She played the velveteen costar to Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, a commander in the fast gone Red Planet, and a multitude of other powerful gals on film. Each time regardless of how weak the script she accepts, or how mundane the character was written, Moss breaths a certain compelling life into them. She's a helluva talent. A wonder to watch.

Joe Pantoalalaliano has always been one of my smits. Ever since his short lived network comedy (?), The Fratanelli Boys, I have been watching him. Waiting for his natural acting abilities to be put to work appropriately. Here, he steals the scenes he shares with Pearce. Joe's a creepy coiled snake hidden under a thin jovial mask. We don't know what to think of his character. Very refreshing.

Memento is so strong a film you may actually see it twice. It's one of those rare occasions that you'd see even more the second time around. Fascinating.

Snack recommendation: Gingko biloba and omega 3 fatty acids : Fish

 

 

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