9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Remember You Are Mortal,
This review is from: Memento  [DVD] (DVD)
Memento is a truly complex and engrossing thriller, full of twists and ambiguous peripheral sub-plots which only the most observant of viewers will catch. If you can get interested enough to explore beyond the basic experience, it's as about as cerebral anything committed to celluloid in its depth and deliverance of narrative.
Leonard Shelby has a memory span of around 15 minutes (not a hard and fast rule - this can change dependent on stress) due to Anterograde Amnesia - meaning he can remember the past but cannot make new memories - as the result of head trauma suffered during an attack in which his wife, we are lead to believe, was killed. Now, with only notes and Polaroid pictures to remind himself of what he is doing, he's searching for the killer in order to extract revenge.
Okay, so it's an original story, and it's also really original insofar as it's a plotline which is told in neither a linear or non-linear fashion, but in reverse chronological order, however even beyond that (if you followed it) there's so much more beyond the confines of what we do see and hear, that it leads to an incredibly complex and wonderfully intricate story.
If you only watch it once and understand it completely you're a genius because it's taken me several viewings to get the entire picture. I was also lucky enough to find the "Easter Egg" (possibly the best Easter Egg on any DVD ever - if anyone knows of a better one, please let me know) and found that even after watching Memento in chronological order, it was still engrossing and deeply intricate.
The special features on the region 2 disk delve a little deeper into the history of storyline also, giving us some hints and clues as to how Leonard Shelby ended up in the time and place we join him, and even the special features themselves are cryptic and accessed only through careful examination, analysis and exploration. EVEN THEN, there's a great deal of symbolism (torn out newspaper clippings in the shape of America, references to the nihilistic nature of a life lived without cognisance of actions etc.)
It's clear that writer/director Christopher Nolan invested a lot in this, creating a story that can be disregarded as `decent' or explored as magnificent in its dimensions.
Top marks, and some of the best special features on a DVD, but I can also see how some people wouldn't enjoy it simply because it's not mindless enough. However, if you're an obsessive mind and the sort of person who likes to look beyond the surface, you'll love this film.