Butter up the popcorn and buy a good notepad and lighted pen – the smartest and most infuriatingly confusing thriller since The Usual Suspects is here.
Christopher Nolan’s Memento tells the story of a man out to solve and avenge his wife’s murder, but here’s the catch: he has short term memory loss and can’t remember much after 15 minutes.
So he tattoos his torso with things that help him trigger memory. The film works backward as we try to piece together how he came to his conclusions, with a Rashamon mosaic of perspectives on the same events which serve to boggle the mind and confound your thought train at every turn.
It is possible that in this confusion the film inserts a couple of strings that don’t connect, but the story is so smart and entertaining you want to give it the benefit of the doubt, and trust it you will. Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss are both solid, and the picture of the Los Angeles underground is refreshingly believable.
In Memento nothing is as it seems, and the film creates an acid trip world where nobody can be trusted and even the spoon on the table plays games with your head: how did that get there?
People are strange, when you’re a stranger.
Thinky says: This is virtuoso filmmaking.