Rating: NNNNNMEMENTO (Christopher Nolan, 2001) has my highest recommendation. Its rewind-and-playback structure, in which we meet our forgetful hero Leonard.
MEMENTO (Christopher Nolan, 2001) has my highest recommendation. Its rewind-and-playback structure, in which we meet our forgetful hero Leonard (Guy Pearce) at the end of his quest to avenge his wife’s murder and then follow him backward in time as he tries to piece together an ever-shifting puzzle, is perfectly designed to captivate the mind. The old “what happens next?” storyline is tossed in favour of “what the heck is happening?” and, more importantly, “what does this mean?” Each jump back spins the characters in a new light. Nathalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), for example, turns from lover to manipulator in an emotionally intense scene. Leonard, in a warmly funny moment in the middle of a chase, can’t recall if he’s the pursuer or the pursued. Despite a few attempts at poignancy, Memento doesn’t really have a soul. I never felt Leonard’s love for his wife, and I was more touched by peripheral characters than by the leads. Still, how many films can you see twice and hope to see again? NNNNN (July 13-15 and 17, Revue July 16-17, Bloor)