Memento: Alzheimer's is looking pretty damn good right now...(SPOILERS ABOUND!) : LUSENET : Script Brads : One Thread

Anyone seen the film "Memento?" Love it, hate it, found some inconsistencies and plot holes? Discuss it here! For those of you who haven't seen it and want to see it, be forewarned. We're going to be discussing SPOILERS

-- Brad (, April 07, 2001


I loved this film, although I thought I spotted some inconsistencies. One continuity error that drove me insane: when Guy Pearce wakes up in Carrie Ann Moss' bed. They both get up and get dressed. Carrie Ann Moss is supposed to have a split lip and a black eye throughout the scene, but she walks into the bathroom and comes out sans split lip and black eye. A change of camera set up, then it's back. Another setup, it's not there.

I loved the ending. Just completely blew me away. But the telephone conversations shot in black and white...I wasn't entirely sure where they fit in the timeline of the entire story. Anyone???

-- Brad (, April 07, 2001.

I just got back from Memento. I have nothing relevant to add, other than I heard the director himself say that the b/w sections were moving forward in time (in the present) while all the stuff in color was moving backward (in the past). But I cannot seem to grok the timeline, much less the overall story. I'm still digesting. I think I'll need to see it at least once or twice more just to get a handle on what/who is lying and what is true. After discussing the film with the friend I saw it with (no, not an imaginary friend, really) at length immediately afterward, all I can say for sure is that I'm pretty sure it is a puzzle not meant to be solved. Especially in light of the last (or first, depending on your point of view) scene where all kinds of misinformation, possible lies and probable truths are divulged. Meaning, you are not meant to know the "truth" of the story, only the truth of the protagonist: that he lies to himself to make him feel better; rendering any sympathy or identification that you fostered for him in the prior two hours nul, moot and void.

I think that's a mean thing to do your audience. And very clever.


-- notfamous (, April 08, 2001.

our un-famous friend thinks: "Meaning, you are not meant to know the "truth" of the story, only the truth of the protagonist: that he lies to himself to make him feel better; rendering any sympathy or identification that you fostered for him in the prior two hours nul, moot and void."

Indeed, the truth as seen through the protag's eyes. To me, it didn't seem he lied to himself but, as we all do in some respect, remembered things differently from they happened, in a fashion more palatable to one's self. In this case IMO, he unconsciously altered his memories of his experiences with his wife's illness and put them into the "Sammy" story, where he wouldn't be at fault in his wife's death and thus it would be less painful than it already was. In other words, the fault in the story was that he in fact COULD manufacture new memories -- that particular altered memory.

-- Reginald Squirrel (, April 09, 2001.

Okay, Reggie's take just completely blew my mind.

I didn't think of it that way (that he had manufactured new memories, and thus his condition was mental, not physical, as he interpreted the claims case).

I thought it was extremely clever how Guy Pearce's character put a lot of faith in his "system" of remembering things and how the writer/ director set up he was a hot shot investigator. That led me to trust his version of events, and hence, the ending blew me away.

-- Brad (, April 09, 2001.

Ultimately I totally believed Teddy, primarily because of his deathbed -- make that death floor -- confession that he'd been using Pearce (Leonard) as the the perfect killer for a variety of assignments and had done so for years. And I think Teddy said or implied that the info about Pearce's wife's diabetic death was in the missing 12 pages of the dossier and (as I recall) implied or stated that Pearce had destroyed those pages at a previous date.

Therefore Pearce had somehow changed his memory of Sammy and his wife to accomodate his own experience and take the pain off himself.

Does that make s

-- Reginald Squirrel (, April 09, 2001.

Yes, I ultimately believed Teddy, because I realized he was consistently truthful throughout the film. He was right about Natalie wanting to use Leonard; he was trying to help Leonard in the tattoo shop for all the right reasons (and mainly because of the high profile car Leonard was driving). And he wasn't lying when he said he was a cop (Leonard found his badge) and he even admitted to being a "John G" upfront (or at least at the end of the film which was really the beginning).

-- Brad (, April 09, 2001.


I think I know what you're saying re: how Leonard deceived himself into believing his wife's condition and her ultimate demise from insulin OD was actually the story of Sam Jankis, but I do not agree that it then means he manufactured a new memory, per se.

The story of Sammy happened before the "incident" that deprived Leonard of making new memories. So was the little clip of him pinching his wife (possibly giving her insulin at that moment -- who knows).

Now, just because he remembers these things incorrectly -- that does not directly mean he's generating new memories. He can lie to himself about his past prior to the "incident" all he wants and I don't think it would violate the terms of his affliction. If, however, he remembered something that happened after the "incident" for longer than a few minutes, I'd have a problem.

Put it this way. Let's say you had a terrible high school prom night. You have since changed the things you remember about it so it's not so bad. Even after being afflicted with this disease, you could still lie to yourself about prom night.

Now where it gets a little tricky is that the story of Sammy's wife is an experience we think really happened with Leonard and his wife after Leonard got his condition, meaning there had to be some transferrance at some time -- some moment or series of moments where Leonard learns over and over that he's killed his wife and thereby sets about deceiving himself through paperwork and whatever so he won't continually and perpetually feel the deep remorse/guilt/shame of overdosing his wife.

In that regard it makes it mental, not physical. Which is why I think Nolan brought attention to this with Leonard's assessment of Sammy.

What I think was a little glitch in the story was when Natalie tells Leonard about the boyfriend she lost, too much time goes by before Leonard gets out of bed, walks around, sees the photo, then writes the note to himself that she'll help him out of pity. I think an hour or more passes. It gets dark quickly, that's for sure.

If nothing else, this movie teaches us how slippery "truth" can be, and how malleable memories are.

-- Leonard Shelby (, April 09, 2001.

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