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Film Argument: Mementoby Christopher Nolan (2000)

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  1. Introduction
  2. Discussion
  3. Mementoby Christopher Nolan (2000)
  4. Film Argument
  5. Conclusion

Memento, a 90 minute film by Christopher Nolan, was released in 2000. The film is a theatrical attempt at addressing misdirected revenge in a modern society. Leonard Shelby, the main character, is a retired insurance investigator who suffers from anterograde amnesia resultant from a head trauma received while defending his wife from two men who had tried to rape her. His life is characterized by a 15 minute loop in which his life resets and his memories are lost. The loop becomes even shorter when he is under stress(Schmidt 9; Read and Goodenough 72-74).
Leonard learns that one of the two men involved in the rape and murder of his wife may have escaped with the police unaware of his whereabouts.

He makes it his mission to track the escaped man despite hisanterograde amnesic condition. What is most ironic about the whole scenario is that while Leonard is determined to find the escaped man and ensure that he answers for the death of his wife, Leonard had already killed the man and may himself have been responsible for his wife's death. The whole movie follows a disjointed narrative format that is paralleled to Leonard's amnesia life. The movie's genre appeal, and application of noir style and revenge theme make it good (Bragues 62-63; Little 67).

[...] Memento has a revenge theme. Most of the characters in the film are on a revenge mission over some perceived wrong done to them. The conventional methods of seeking justice have failed them and they have taken it upon themselves to get justice, irrespective of the personal cost. Leonard, the lead character, justified his revenge mission by presenting it as justice. He overcomes the amnesia by leaving notes everywhere, even tattoos instructions on his body, to inform him of what he may have forgotten (Schmidt 12-13). [...]


[...] New York: Palgrave Macmillan Print. Schmidt, Torben. Christopher Nolan's Memento Analysis of the Narrative Structure of Noirish Revenge Film. Brechen: Johann Wolfgang Goethe- University Print. [...]


[...] Film Argument: Mementoby Christopher Nolan (2000) Introduction Memento, a 90 minute film by Christopher Nolan, was released in 2000. The film is a theatrical attempt at addressing misdirected revenge in a modern society. Leonard Shelby, the main character, is a retired insurance investigator who suffers from anterograde amnesia resultant from a head trauma received while defending his wife from two men who had tried to rape her. His life is characterized by a 15 minute loop in which his life resets and his memories are lost. [...]

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