A Psychological Viewpoint on Memento

846 WordsJul 18, 20124 Pages
Memento is an American psychological thriller adapted from a short story, Memento Mori written by James Nolan. The story displays the life of Leonard Shelby. Shelby has anterograde Amnesia brought about by an injury to his head. He suffered this injury while confronting two people who attacked his wife at their home in the middle of the night. Leonard kills one of the attackers during the attack, although the second one escapes. Due to the injury and resultant amnesia, the last thing Leonard remembers is his wife dying. He is unable to remember new information after that day. The movie shows how he devotes his life to finding and killing the second attacker. The movie uses a unique presentation style where the director starts with a…show more content…
This focus seemed to motivate him to carry on, and gave him a purpose to live. Problem Shelby, suffers from a rare form of amnesia which makes him incapable of creating new memories. Any bit of information he learns since his injury must be recorded or will be quickly forgotten. Due to his memory problem, he would often find himself lost at places. He’d ask himself questions like “Why am I here?” or “What was I doing?” He often made errors in judgment if the information or clues available to him were incomplete. He was also slightly paranoid; he didn’t trust new people and avoided new situations. This is why he had no social life and only a couple of people he could trust. Since his condition prevents him from creating new memories Leonard uses a clever system of Notes, Polaroid photos, and Tattoos to record clues which may lead him to finding the man who killed his wife. Every morning he would wake up and the body tattoos will remind him of what happened and what his mission is. He will use post it notes, polaroid pictures to reconstruct what he was doing and what he needs to do today. He followed some simple rules – focus on the objective and take short notes and picture of relevant clues after key events. But the fact that Shelby was aware of his condition made life even more challenging. Since he was AWARE of his condition he forced himself to live a very structured routine; every morning he’d wake up study and observe his body

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