Memento is a mystery thriller directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Ann Moss. Guy Pearce plays leonard a man suffering from short-term memory loss who uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife. The film was released on the 20th October 2000.
Analysis of Narrative Structure
At the start of the film our main protagonist has faced the death of his wife or rather the murder of his wife. The audience does not see the death but we know that it has happened recently in Leonard's past. The basis for the plot involves Leonard trying to find out who actually murdered his wife. This is very similar to the character of Teddy Daniels from Shutter Island who has also suffered from the death of his wife and is trying to solve her murder. Both of these characters are very strong individuals that share this vulnerable and emotional trait. There is an antagonist at the start of the film who Leonard strongly believes is his wife's murderer however Carrie-Ann Moss's character has a surprising twist that may cause the audience to have second thoughts. These two antagonists are initially stronger and cleverer than our protagonist. Leonard's quest involves him tracking down his wife's killer which is definitely a mystery and is all focused from his point of view. There is a strong element of justice in Memento as Leonard wants to avenge his wife's killer and there is a moral sense between some of the characters he meets and the person he believes to be the killer. The whole film is a complete mental challenge, as Leonard has severe short term memory loss which could potentially hinder his progress had he not have found a formula to document his case.
Character Study: Leonard
Leonard is a determined character who is set on his mission to get revenge and closure on the murder of his wife. The fact that he forgets things in a mere 5 to 15 minutes makes the story a tough one to keep up with from the audiences perspective, not to mention how stressful it must be for Leonard having to tattoo and write down all of the information he discovers and then piece it all together when he cant even remember where or when he procured it. It is exciting to watch as bit by bit Leonard does manage to get closer and closer to the truth, but the twists and turns keep the audience and Leonard himself one step behind the final answer.