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Hidden Meaning in Memento – Earthling Cinema


Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema.
I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Memento, directed by this guy
and starring this Guy. The film takes place in ritzy Los Angeles, the capital of Earth.
Our protagonist is Leonard, a forgetful human male who lives in a motel and reads police
files for shits and gigs. If you call trying to solve your wife’s murder shits and gigs,
which I do. Not. Do NOT. Leonard’s favorite person in the world is
Sammy Jankis, but he doesn’t get to hang out with the Jankster. He has to hang out
with a cop named John Teddy G instead. Teddy gives Leonard a smokin’ hot lead about an
abandoned warehouse where they can film skate vids and also, if they have time, kill someone
named Jimmy. Well Leonard does have time for killing, but not quite enough time for shopping. Further eating into his time is Teddy droning
on about Jimmy not being the one who murdered Leonard’s wife, and Leonard having already
killed his wife’s attacker and forgot about it, and her actually dying from a medicine
overdose administered by Leonard. Blah blah blah.Teddy tries to get Jimmy’s money from
the trunk of his car, but nothing doing, because Leonard has already left to get a tattoo of
his favorite band, SG137IU. Then he goes to a bar for a nice cold glass of spit. Impressed by his refined palate, Jimmy’s
girlfriend Natalie decides to use Leonard to put a some dude in a closet.In exchange,
Natalie sleeps with Leonard, apparently having gotten over the disappearance of her boyfriend.
She also informs him that, much to his surprise, Teddy is in the band SG137IU. Leonard is pretty
lukewarm on their new album, so he takes Teddy to that same abandoned skate park and shoots
his glasses off. All of that, except backwards. Memento’s defining feature is its retrograde
narrative form, just like how my defining feature is a mustache on my forehead. By presenting the story in reverse, the film
makes the audience experience the same sense of disorientation associated with
Leonard’s brain goofs. “Oh, I’m chasing this guy. No, he’s chasing me.” Just as Leonard searches his surroundings for clues to acclimate himself
every time his memory resets, so too does the audience have to constantly rewind
in order to know what the hell they’re watching. The film offers a variation on the “film
noir” genre, my second favorite noir after pinot. Noir films often feature a lonely,
hard-boiled egg of a private dick. Here, Leonard is a retired insurance claims
investigator, giving him all the tools for sleuthing, but none of the cachet, which is
French for “money.” And though he may be able to play detective, “I think someone’s f*cking with me trying to get me to kill the wrong guy.” he breaks the cardinal
rule: “Never have the mysterious culprit turn out to be yourself.” Voiceover narration
is often used in noir to orient the audience, “Maybe you’d like to hear the facts, the whole truth.” but Leonard’s unreliable narration isn’t
the slightest bit oriental. “It’s amazing what a little brain hemorrhage will do for your credibility.” Which brings us to the subjectivity of truth. And I guess
that makes me the truth fairy. Leonard wants to believe that the world operates
independent of his warped perspective — that his actions have meaning, even if he can’t
remember them. “My wife deserves vengeance, doesn’t make any difference whether I know about it. The world doesn’t just disappear when you close your eyes, does it?” Maybe not for you. See? Leonard claims to value only the facts, and dismisses
memory as a bunch of big city hogswallop. “Look memory can change the shape of a room, it can change the color of a car. It ain’t relevant if you have the facts.” But by deliberately manipulating the truth
in order to construct a more palatable reality, Leonard proves that facts are a hog that can
be just as easily swalloped. “You don’t want the truth, you make up your own truth.” He uses repetition to condition himself to believe his mistakes
belonged to Ned Ryerson, I mean Sammy Jenkis. He CHOOSES to make Teddy his victim by writing
down his band name and labeling it a “FACT.” And he bleaches his hair blonde just so he
can have more fun. Leonard’s untrustworthiness forces us to
re-evaluate our opinions of all the other two characters in the film. We are quick to
condemn Natalie for exploiting Leonard, but her actions become more understandable when
we find out Leonard killed her boyfriend, stole his car, and fit into his clothes perfectly
without getting them tailored. Our opinion of Teddy is also constantly in flux. At first, we think he’s the real John G; later, we think he’s
a crooked cop. Ultimately, we give up and move on, since the movie’s over and we’re
out of snarfcorn. At the end of the film, the viewer is thrown a curveball that calls
all of Leonard’s recollections into… question? As Leonard drives away, he very irresponsibly
closes his eyes and we see a quick image of Leonard in bed next to his wife. He has a
tattoo that says “I’VE DONE IT” in the spot that Leonard reserved to memorialize
his revenge. Is this just Leonard’s fantasy? Or did it really happen? Is it possible that
Leonard killed John G, got the tattoo, accidentally killed his wife, then removed the tattoo so
that he could begin his endless quest for John G? What is his relationship with the
local tattoo artists at this point? “It’s private back here.” Like Leonard, we’ll never know for sure what’s real
and what’s not. We’ll just have to make something up. Like this promotional tie-in
candy! Mementos: The Refreshmaker. They’ll make you completely forget your bad breath. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid.

100 Comments

  1. Jorex Author

    This is the niceist moviе i еver sеe!!! I advise eeveryboody to wаtch it 🙂 https://twitter.com/88acf5f1fa31266bf/status/872635575324385281

    Reply
  2. Antonio Ramirez Author

    Ok i realize im late to this just seen movie for the 1st time and its pretty damn good but with short term memory how in THE FUCK!! Does he remember he's got a condition throughout the movie?? Did he find that out before he got the condition??

    Reply
  3. M Behlole Aqil Author

    Yooоou сan't find this movieеeе with bеeеtteеeer qualitу thаaаn hеrе => https://twitter.com/0b2f2189bf4312e93/status/872635575324385281

    Reply
  4. Lutfi Apriliansyah Author

    Wааtссh Meеmеntoooо online in hd qualitу herее => https://twitter.com/0b2f2189bf4312e93/status/872635575324385281

    Reply
  5. Ketlyn Capello Author

    This is the niсccceist moviе i eveеer seeеeеe!!! I advisе everybodууyy too watch it 🙂 https://twitter.com/0b2f2189bf4312e93/status/872635575324385281

    Reply
  6. i cry Author

    let me just say that this move was so stressful to watch, the feeling that you're moving forward only to redo everything again, christ!

    Reply
  7. Henry Zhou Author

    The scene of him and his wife in bed, the triumphant tattoo on his breast, can’t be a flashback. We’ve seen already that he doesn’t have the tattoo, so he can’t have had it in the past. How can he remember lying in bed with his living wife, with the tattoo “John G. raped and killed my wife” visible on his chest? Also, a fun nod at the Leonard is Sammy theory is in the movie, for where a quick second, in the mental institute, Ned is replaced by Guy.

    Reply
  8. Nameless Monster Author

    I don't like the way you try to make everything funny. Memento is a deep, intense psychological thriller. Try to state your opinions seriously. I guess for other types of movies you can add your lame humour in them. Try next time to just focus on your content rather than saying some dumb little jokes.

    Reply
  9. Sebastian B. Author

    The tat at the end on his chest that says he "did it" couldn't be real because in the pic if him after he killed the first guy he has the "John G raped and murdered his wife" if she wasn't dead when he got it it wouldn't make sense.

    Reply
  10. farley pants Author

    i never noticed the tattoo that says 'ive done it'. i wondered why he was pointing to himself like that in the photo. that would seem to suggest he was pointing to that same tattoo. yet forgot he had it removed? yet remembered it was there?

    Reply
  11. Astrobrant2 Author

    At least you dealt with the scene near the end where he is in bed with his wife — and with all his tattoos, including the "I've done it." That's been bugging me for years and no one has been able to explain it. This has to mean that his wife never died. Chronologically, it must be the last event in the story.

    He must have gone missing on his vengeance quest. It must have been a long time, based on the volume of records he had in his binder, the number of tattoos, and having killed at least three men.

    This means that Sammy Jankis wasn't Leonard, but the director made us think that might be the case, just to screw us up. Leonard didn't OD his wife with insulin and she wasn't killed by the attackers. It's unforgivable that the director inserted that clip of Leonard for Sammy. Anyway, the wife finally finds Leonard and they are together again. All is well, except for his memory loss and his murder of three people, at least two of whom were innocent. A drug dealer and a crooked cop, yes, but not the ones who attacked him and his wife.

    Reply
  12. AlsikePike Author

    Wait a second. Leonard has short-term memory loss, and the last thing that he remembers is his wife's death, then how the hell did he remember he has short-term memory loss in the first place? How does he continue to know that every single time his memory resets?

    Reply
  13. Marnix van Baalen Author

    What u man "If he did it", its pretty clear he did it by giving his wife insulin 3 times in 45 minuts. Was this still an unclear thing?

    Reply

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