Essay on Amnesia in Memento Directed by Christopher Nash
1081 Words5 Pages
The film, Memento, tells a multidimensional story about a man, Leonard Shelby, who suffers from short-term memory loss illness, anterograde amnesia. He is impaired by this medical issue due to being hit on the head when defending his wife, who was attacked and raped in their house during the middle of the night. He kills one of the invaders during the attack. With inability to form new memories, one of the last things Leonard remembers is seeing his wife, die. He then devotes his life to finding and killing the second attacker. However, Leonard, being unable to store and remember new memories, develops a technique to help him recall what has already happened in his life post head trauma. He does this by using hand-written notes, tattoos,…show more content… The movie switches back and forth between various series of color and black and white sequences. The black and white scenes illustrate the story in chronological order; whereas the scenes in color continue in reverse chronological order, demonstrating the use of flashbacks. However, the opening credits unfolds a scene of Leonard killing Teddy, who is a claimed and assumed, but unproven police officer, assigned to the rape of Catherine Shelby, Leonard’s wife. He is also an acquaintance of Leonard, who attempted to assist him in his determined search for his wife's killer. Although, the audience realizes this beginning scene actually exposes the end of the conclusion of the story. The black and white sequential scenes and the reversal color scenes alternate awaiting the conclusion of the film where they meet in the middle of the story.
Director and screenwriter, Christopher Nolan, portrays the movie’s protagonist, Leonard Shelby, as a flawed hero tries to find some justice in an unfair world, as wrong was done onto him with the rape and murder of his wife. This neo-noir thematic device is displayed through Leonard, as he is, at heart, a genuinely good person, despite making questionably moral decisions, in this case to naivety and gullibility due to his mental incapability. Suffering anterograde amnesia, the death of his wife is a fresh,