Amnesia in Memento Directed by Christopher Nash

1080 Words5 Pages
The film, Memento, tells a multidimensional story about a man, Leonard Shelby, who suffers from short-term memory loss illness, anterograde amnesia. He is impaired by this medical issue due to being hit on the head when defending his wife, who was attacked and raped in their house during the middle of the night. He kills one of the invaders during the attack. With inability to form new memories, one of the last things Leonard remembers is seeing his wife, die. He then devotes his life to finding and killing the second attacker. However, Leonard, being unable to store and remember new memories, develops a technique to help him recall what has already happened in his life post head trauma. He does this by using hand-written notes, tattoos, and Polaroid pictures, with notes and indications on them as well. In this millennium released film, director and screenwriter, Christopher Nolan, uses classic neo-noir thematic and stylistic devices to demonstrate Leonard Shelby’s existential predicament regarding his own self. One of the first ways this is portrayed is through of the non-chronological order of events. The film, Memento, retains no account of consecutive order whatsoever. This stylistic device is commonly attained through flashbacks. The film goes back in time to reveal each little bit of the puzzle to find “John G” who, according to a tattoo on his body, Leonard believes is his wife’s murderer. The various scenes of remembrances and flashbacks throughout the film leave the audience to feel and experience confusion, just as it occurs to Leonard himself, every day. The movie is captured in a way that retains the audience from being aware of the events order. This also corresponds and validates the neo-noir element of the disorien... ... middle of paper ... ...re put in Leonard’s position several times, previewing the extent of his adversity and misfortune. It is suggested several times throughout the film that Sammy Jankis is actually Leonard. His wife wasn’t actually murdered the night the attack took place, she survived. However, the trauma to his triggered the memory-loss illness, with his last memory of his wife lying next to him, in which she assumed she was dead. Leonard, in fact, killed his wife, due to overdosing her insulin injections in not recalling he had already administered the shot. This scenario counterparts the story told of Sammy Jankis, leaving the audience to assume that Leonard Shelby is actually Sammy Jankis all along. A predominant characteristic of this movie is how it is filmed and edited. The narrative plot is recreated as Leonard sees it; it is backwards and confusing with many uncertain gaps.

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