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Outside the box
Outside the box
By Dave Hudakoc
Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
By: Christopher Nolan
You open your eyes. You know you're lying in a bed, but it's not yours. You look around and have no idea where on earth you could possibly be. You look beside you and there is someone lying next to you.
"Who is this person?," you ask yourself, but you have no recollection of ever meeting or even talking to this individual.
You try to piece together what happened, where you were and how you ever got there, but for the life of you you can't remember.
No, this is not the morning after a night at the Ridout.
It's actually just one piece of the mysterious life of Guy Pearce's character, Leonard, in Christopher Nolan's puzzling film, Memento.
Memento follows Leonard as he attempts to track down his wife's rapist and murderer while battling his short-term memory loss he received during a struggle with the killer.
Leonard no longer has any perception of time, whom he has met or what people know about him. He doesn't even remember why he feels anger every morning.
But by tattooing reminders, clues and instructions on his body, Leonard becomes a step closer to finding the killer. He feels that by finding and killing this person, he will justify his wife's death and be able to live a normal life again.
Sound confusing? It is.
What makes it even more complex is the way the story unfolds in a reverse chronological style similar to The Usual Suspects. Basically, the story follows Leonard while the viewer attempts to figure out why he blew the brains out of some guy in the opening scene.
However, that is a description of Memento in the simplest of terms.
This film defies explanation and leaves the viewer on the edge of their seat, attempting to not only solve this complicated story, but to figure out the true intentions of each character. As the film unfolds, you find out that none of the characters' motives are what they seem.
Christopher Nolan's direction is brilliant. Each scene is like a piece of a profoundly complex puzzle. The only problem is, in most cases, the puzzle isn't solved on the first try.
The first viewing will leave most saying, "Huh?" or "What the hell was that?" Don't feel stupid. All you have to do is watch it a second time and everything will most likely come together.
If understanding is never reached, the film is still enjoyable, mainly due to the impressive performances of Guy Pearce (Rules of Engagement), Carrie Anne Moss (The Matrix) and Joe Pantoliano (U.S. Marshals, The Matrix).
Each actor portrays a character with a dark or mysterious side. But unlike some murder mysteries, they don't over do it leaving the viewer still shocked by their actions.
Much of the film's success lies in its original cinematography. The opening scene grabs your attention right from the start and challenges the audience to hang on, pay attention and enjoy the ride.
Take a risk and give Memento a chance. Just don't expect to sit back and relax as this film requires an active role on the viewer's part.