The essay "Describe A Movie: Memento by Christopher Nolan" talks about the plot of the film "Memento" by Christopher Nolan and the actions of the main character to identify if he is responsible for them.
Leonard, the main character of the film, is affected by amnesia due to a violent attack by a group of criminals. In the film, Leonard is narrating his life story to Sammy, his client. Besides, Leonard’s ultimate aim is to entrap John G, who is responsible for his wife’s murder. So, he makes use of memoirs (snaps and written notes) to retain his memory. At the same time, Leonard suspects that Sammy is John G. Later, he was able to find out Jimmy Grantz, another individual suspected by him as the murderer. Later, Teddy (a contact/undercover officer) reveals that John G is a fictitious character created by Leonard. Still, the ambiguous nature of the film’s plot is not helpful for the viewers to identify the real identity of Leonard’s wife’s murderer.
The reverse chronological order of shots used by the director proves that the film represents the problem (amnesia) faced by Leonard. The individual who is suffering from amnesia cannot make use of his or her long-term memory system to accumulate new memories. Within this context, Leonardo is the victim of amnesia and he is trying his level best to focus on his ultimate aim. He is aware of the fact that nothing can compensate the misfortune in his life. Still, he considers that he must find out the person who is responsible for the hardships faced
Besides, Leonard suspects that Teddy is John G. This misunderstanding proves that his extended memory or the system is entirely different from his biological memory. This continuous betrayal by Leonard’s extended memory proves that he is a victim, not a criminal. Moreover, Leonard is aware of the fact that the grass root level reason behind the problem faced by him is interconnected with the criminal act conducted by John G and his group. At the same time, Leonard depends upon his ‘system’ and blindly believes that it is superior to his biological memory. On the other side, the crimes committed by Leonard prove that his system is not perfect because his wife’s murderer is dead. Still, Leonard is trying to entrap an imaginary murderer. So, Leonardo is not responsible for his deeds because the same were not performed of his own free will. Philip C. DiMare opined that “Because Leonard has no lasting memories since his injury, we quickly learn how easily he is manipulated by others” (346). From a different angle of view, massive physical trauma affected Leonard’s mental equilibrium and memory. He is no more a normal individual because he cannot think rationally. Within this context, his one and only aim is to find out the person who is behind the misfortunes in his life. So, he decided to depend upon the so called ‘system’ or memoir. He blindly followed the ‘system’ and became a victim to the same. Here, one cannot prove that Leonardo is responsible for his deeds because he is under the control of the ‘system’. Besides, Leonard considers that memoirs are symbolic of his extended memory. So, the helplessness faced by