saw memento this weekend
someone here liked this movie?
i left feeling paranoid and annoyed.
can someone tell me what the ending was all about please?
- linda 5-28-2001 6:07 pm

Teddy, the bad cop, has been taking advantage of Leonard's inability to make short term memories, getting him to do hits on drug dealers which Leonard thinks are revenge killings for his wife's murder. Carrie Ann Moss also uses Leonard to do her bit of dirty work. All of Teddy's manipulations--moving Leonard from hotel room to hotel room, deleting notes from his investigation--are to keep Leonard pliable and confused. When Leonard gets suspicious he's being used, Teddy tries to confuse him by saying (i) that Leonard already avenged his wife's murder, (ii) that Leonard killed his wife with insulin after getting the idea from Sammy (who faked his condition). This is contradictory, so Leonard writes "don't believe his lies" on the polaroid, and finally kills Teddy. However, some of what Teddy said may be true; all Leonard has to keep himself going are his core memories, the stories he tells himself, and his instincts. The movie suggests that's really all any of us have.
- tom moody 5-28-2001 7:37 pm [add a comment]

  • I love the chase scene where he can't remember if he is chasing or being chased. I think about that movie often, my short term memory is almost as bad as Leonard's. I am constantly walking from one room to another and then can't remember why or what I got up for.
    - sarah 7-12-2002 6:16 pm [add a comment]

i got the impression that leonard was deliberately setting himself up to believe that teddy was his wife's killer knowing at the time that that was untrue.

also the whole wife was murdered thing was questionable - at the end he flashed to a memory of lying in bed with his wife - yet in that memory he has tatooes on his chest.
- linda 5-28-2001 9:53 pm [add a comment]

  • Steve said Diti thought Leonard was a skank, too. He certainly wore those gangster clothes well. I see him as a victim who takes control--he "sets Teddy up" as his wife's murderer, copying down his license plate number, because he knows Teddy's evil and the only way he can escape him is to trick his "core self" into believing that Teddy's the murderer. Then he'll have the strength and motivation to kill him, as a kind of self defense.

    As for the scenes with Leonard and his wife--showing him pinching her hip playfully and then giving her an insulin shot in an alternate take--I believe they were "what if's" inspired by Teddy's conniving.

    Whether or not Teddy or any other character in the movie committed the murder, I believe it happened and Teddy's taking advantage of it. The other explanation is that Leonard is a serial killer, inventing elaborate rationalizations for his murders. Leonard is cold and unsympathetic, but he seems too befuddled throughout most of the movie to pull that sort of thing off.

    Now I want to see it again.

    - tom moody 5-29-2001 1:37 am [add a comment]

    • yeah, the scene i'm thinking of with his wife at the end is not the one you mention. they are lying (asleep?) in bed and you can see his tatooes across his chest. pretty positive it was her.
      - linda 5-29-2001 5:41 pm [add a comment]

      • OK, I saw (and enjoyed) it again and I'm sticking by my interpretation. The scene you mentioned is one of the last shots in the movie, flashing briefly while Leonard is giving his soliloquy about what keeps him going in spite of it all. The woman in the shot is his wife, but she's just a dream, or fiction, of his tattoo-covered "present self"--a much-revisited image that keeps him going, like the polaroids or the notes he consults. The movie intends no "Verbal-Kint-is-Keyser-Soze" twist as in The Usual Suspects (thank god)--a last minute revelation that supposedly makes you rethink the whole movie. Memento is a better film because there's a plot reason for all the red herrings. (It did look like Leonard's tattoos were slightly different in that shot, however; more likely it's a continuity error rather than some ominous clue.)
        - tom moody 5-31-2001 3:46 am [add a comment]

        • I think that the film is intentionally filled with enough contradictions and inconsistancies to make it work in multiple "whodunnit" configurations.
          - steve 5-31-2001 3:59 am [add a comment]

          • I agree, but only to a point. The open questions are (i) who actually killed Leonard's wife? (it could have been Teddy, Dodd, or a "random junkie," but not Leonard) (ii) how long has Leonard been carrying on his "investigation? In other words, to what extent is the "investigation" a self-delusion on Leonard's part to keep himself going, long after the crime has been "solved," and to what extent is it being prolonged as a result of Teddy's manipulations? Clearly Teddy smells, right? Leonard's grief over his wife's murder seems genuine throughout the movie, and also his horror when he thinks he's killed the wrong person. The filmmakers are not presenting a Leonard-as-killer, or Leonard-as-split-personality scenario--those are "Teddy's lies."
            - tom moody 5-31-2001 6:09 am [add a comment]

            • I'd like to put my 2 cents in as to that last scene where Leonard is lying in bed with his wife, and he has his tattoos. I bought the DVD, and I paused it on that scene. It is indeed his wife lying in bed with him, and he has the same "John G raped and murdered my wife" across his collar, but on the left side of his chest (where it had previous been empty (remember Natalie asked "And Here?" while pointing to his chest) .... on this final scene with his wife, it read "It is done." Now, if you get the special edition DVD, one of the page inserts is supposed to be a page out of Leonard's psych ward records. On it, it says: "Subject is depressed over the deaths of his WIVES" PLURAL! So could it be that more than one of his wives was murdered? This lends itself more to the theory that Lenny himself killed his wife - and that he's a serial killer. Anyway, my 2 cents. Take it or leave it. :-)
              - Windmills (guest) 7-12-2002 10:43 am [add a comment] [edit]

Diti and I discussed the film over dinner after our only viewing months ago. We both tended to favor the Lenny as seriel killer angle. His "memory" loss being a case of serious denial or outright faked rather than amnesia. I still maintain that there is no single "correct" angle to the story.
- steve 8-11-2002 3:17 am [add a comment]

everything you wanted to know about memento...
- dave 8-11-2002 4:00 am [add a comment]

Nolan has done a great thing having the movie's formal construction (reverse chronology) induce in the audience a similar feeling to what the short term memory sufferer experiences: there are clearly past events driving the action but we don't know what they are. If Leonard doesn't suffer from that condition--that is, if he's in denial or faking--then the reverse chronology is just stylistic fireworks and serves no purpose. I'd be happier with another theory I've heard--that Leonard is actually Sammy Jankis, even though I think it's silly--rather than think the director went to all that trouble just to give pizzazz to an open-ended story. I think he means to say something about the short term memory loss we all suffer to some extent (as Sarah suggested), which leaves us pliable to stories others tell us. [For example, the media spent two years saying that Gore would do anything to win, and then, after they fucked him, that he didn't want to win badly enough. They're counting on our collective amnesia.] The only way to survive is to take control of the narrative--lying to yourself is better than having others lie for you.

Also, FWIW, the director says the movie has a definite meaning--he's just not saying what it is.
- tom moody 8-11-2002 4:29 am [add a comment]

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