An absolute stunner of a movie, Memento
combines a bold, mind-bending script with compelling action and virtuoso performances. Guy Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, hunting down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The problem is that "the incident" that robbed Leonard of his wife also stole his ability to make new memories. Unable to retain a location, a face, or a new clue on his own, Leonard continues his search with the help of notes, Polaroids, and even homemade tattoos for vital information. Because of his condition, Leonard essentially lives his life in short, present-tense segments, with no clear idea of what's just happened to him. That's where Memento
gets really interesting; the story begins at the end, and the movie jumps backward in 10-minute segments. The suspense of the movie lies not in discovering what happens, but in finding out why it happened. Amazingly, the movie achieves edge-of-your-seat excitement even as it moves backward in time! , and it keeps the mind hopping as cause and effect are pieced together.
Pearce captures Leonard perfectly, conveying both the tragic romance of his quest and his wry humour in dealing with his condition. He is bolstered by several excellent supporting players including Carrie-Anne Moss, and the movie is all but stolen by Moss' fellow Matrix co-star Joe Pantoliano, who delivers an amazing performance as Teddy, the guy who may or may not be on his side. Memento has an intriguing structure and even meditations on the nature of perception and meaning of life if you go looking for them, but it also functions just as well as a completely absorbing thriller. It's rare to find a movie this exciting with so much intelligence behind it. --Ali Davis, Amazon.com
On the DVD: this amazing movie looks crisp and clean in a good anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) picture accompanied by Dolby 5.1 sound. The menu is almost as baffling as the movie itself, but once you master the navigation you'll find interviews, biographies, a tattoo picture gallery and the shooting script among other extras. Most mind-boggling of all, however, is the "Memento Mori" option in the special features menu, which allows you to play a specially re-edited version of the movie in chronological order, beginning with the end credits running backwards! --Mark Walker