Critical Essay Memento Memento is a very confusing movie if watched for the first time. It even starts off confusing at the very beginning. The way the movie is sequence will most likely have you watching it over again to find out how it was sequence if you’re that interested, but if you watch the movie for a minute you will catch on to what’s going on, but the next scene is not predictable because the movie is kind of like a puzzle where you have to match the pieces in your head.
In the beginning of the movie they start you of at the beginning of the movie where the setting seems to take place at an abandon ware house where Leonard is face to face with his wife killer and then it rewinds back using a glancing rhythm to him waking up in a hotel, kind of a flash forward. In this movie they use a lot of flash forward and flash backs to tell this story in order to confuse the viewers, trying to make the viewers seem confused like the character and that’s why they use objects in this movie to lead you to predict what’s going to happen then the movie jumps somewhere else.
In the Memento every now and then it shows Leonard in the hotel in this black and white frame that might be use to either get the viewers more focused on the character and can also be to see the characters point of view on things throughout the movie and the black and white might be a motif throughout the movie.
In the movie exposition starts right away in the movie starting with the hotel employee Bert, then teddy, Natalie and her boyfriend Jimmy, a drug dealer named Dodd and Sammy Jankis and his wife and as the story goes along it moves backwards and forward and takes parallel cuts between the colored action scene to a black and white kind of narrative or his point of view scene. Leonard suffers from Anterograde amnesia which causes him to lose his new memories but he can remember everything before his wife death, he is determined to find his wife mysterious killer and the person responsible for his memory lose, john.
G. he reminds himself of things that are important to him using notes, pictures and tattoos, the whole puzzle shows how he uses the clues notes and tattoos to find the guy he expects to be his wife killer in the beginning. The black and white scenes moves forward and it discusses his case as an investigator on the Sammy Jankis case that also has the same condition as he do. That whole black and white story is told to us in a narrative voice over while the story line is in color.
As the story moves along you start seeing the complications and things growing into clarity and the conflict between the characters grow, Natalie is the friend that suppose to be helping Leonard but as it rewinds you see that she is using him because she blames him for a situation he got her in and since he won’t be able to remember this she takes complete advantage of him and you learn she has been using him and teddy his other friend that’s been helping him track down john g, as it goes backwards it shows he is being used by people and don’t know why people are shooting at him and why people are after him.
The crazy thing about the sequence of the film is that the complications of the story been happened already, it’s just rewinding back to it. Towards the end and the climax of the movie it gets closer to the beginning and now where at the point of maximum tension Teddy’s manipulative plan to get Leonard to kill Jimmy Grants, a local drug dealer. He gives Leonard the address of an abandoned building or car shop where Jimmy, who Teddy claims is the murderer Leonard, is after for the death of his wife and his loss of new memories.
Leonard, wearing blue jeans and driving a pickup, drives off, with Teddy following a few minutes behind. Leonard walks in and kills him and takes jimmy clothes, a few minutes later, Leonard realizes that he killed the wrong man and he was set up by teddy for 200,000$. Leonard then came up with a clever idea to pretend to lose his memory and act like he met teddy for the first time and asked him for help with the died guy on the floor. Teddy follows him in the abandoned warehouse, Leonard strikes him with the gun and confronts teddy about his betrayal.
That’s when teddy tells him that he been killed the man he was looking for he was just giving him something to live for and tells him about the rest of the things in his life, that’s when Leonard decides to use his handicap to kill teddy. In my conclusion they probably sequenced it like that so that the viewers can feel like they had to live like Leonard, not knowing what was going to happen next and had to figure out what has been going on with notes, pictures and clues and there was no denouement at all.