memento2

Memento:The mind Fuck

Yet to recover the Taare Zameen Par effect. Aamir is still on mind, which is good for me otherwise I write emotional crap on my blog.

We all know Aamir’s next is the remake of Tamil thriller Ghajini. What we all probably don’t know is that Ghajini is actually inspired by this mind fuck movie by Christopher Nolan’s Memento. Why do I call it a mind fuck. because that’s what happens to your mind after you have watched it. It’s one of those movies which you see and spend the rest of your life trying to figure out what the hell happened in the movie. I don’t have the statistics but I doubt if any mortal has understood the movie at one go.

Ironically the story of Memento is quite simple, a man with temporary memory going around this small town in search of this guy who is the killer of his wife. Temporary memory means he cannot remember anything more than a time span of, say a couple of hours. For eg. he’ll go to work from his home, by lunch time he would forget where his home is. You might see you sitting in the cafetaria wondering who he is and where he have to go. Assume you know him and his condition, you’ll tell him, “hey bill, go home, this is the address.” He would trust you but by the time he reaches home he’ll forget he ever met you.

So how does such a man survive on his own? He makes post it notes and takes photographs of his life. So when you meet him he takes a picture of you, writes your name on it and some more important information like, “Mike, a friend and works for you.” Then there are stuffs about his life tatooed all over his body.getridofdodd.jpg

 Now, why is the movie a mind fuck. Because it is filmed in reverse order. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is that what you are saying? It means the story telling happens in reverse order. It’s like this. The movie starts with the first scene, where you get ‘Z’. Cut to scene II. You get W X Y. Cut to scene III you get R S T U V W. Cut to scene IV you get M N O P Q R S T U. And so on. In the second last scene you get Z again. And then in the last scene you get A to Z in not so proper order but not in such a fucked up order either. And for the rest of your life you’d try to get the order right with endless questions on your mind, including one pertinent question, “was that at all him, who he thought he was. Confused? Well that’s the motive.

memento3.jpgI stayed awake that whole night, after I saw it, googling for more information. You can’t sleep anyway when there is so much going on in your mind. And to save my readers from sleep less nights, I hereby present the following hyper-links in reverse order of revelation and understanding the movie.

 First up read this summary on wiki link which kind of sums up the story.
Then check out this cool website of the film in Flash player. Interestingly even the movie website name is in reverse order OTNEMEM
Don’t see the HTML version it ain’t that good. So, when you click on the flash version a window would pop up containing a news paper article. Move your cursor on the news piece, you’d find certain words being hyperlinked. Click on each of these words to get more and more details about the plot. There are many more notes, photos, a psychological report which explains the protagonist’s condition etc. and other things that were not there in the movie.
Finally, read this movie analysis by Andy Klein, which he has written, after having gone through, “…four theatrical viewings, three of them with copious note taking; a fifth viewing on videotape, with lots of whipping back and forth to check for differences in “repeated” shots…”

And then come back to me if you manage to solve the puzzle cause I am still trying :P

Since this also is the time of review rip offs (:P) it is interesting to quote Andy on the negative criticism that Memento got and the profession of movie reviewing in general.

“They’re entitled to their opinion, but many of the negative reviews make it plain that the critics didn’t quite grasp what Nolan (the director) was doing. It’s heartening, however, that most critics at the country’s major papers understood that the film has immense thought behind it, both technically and thematically. Still, given the way the film business works, critics usually have only one chance to see the film and have to dash out a review before deadline, so even many of the positive reviews couldn’t begin to chart the film’s depths.”

Not sure if you’d find out in your local DVD library but go ask for it. It’s a must watch if you are a follower of experimental movies. For me there certain things you should do in life before you die, watching memento was one of them. Such is the effect of memento on you that you end up doing things in reverse order for some days. For eg. Check this blog post spend where the author writes about the weekend in reverse order.

Aamir Khan didn’t like it though, here’s where he tells why. And today I am wondering what would a Memento via Tamil Ghajini via Hindi Ghajini be like.

7 thoughts on “Memento:The mind Fuck

  1. well dude… .. u know u better dont watch Nolan’s film coz u just dont understand wht the art of movie making is.. all u want to do is go back to the theatre or new DVD with the same storyline.. boss u act dont need to go back n see the movie to understand it.. u just need to play things in your mind in reverse order and tht is the special thing about the human mind Nolan has spotted… even without understanding things,, your mind can remember visual impacts and if need be can organise thme also.. u need intelligence to make such a thing… forget it you wont understand

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  2. punit don’t insult someone for their intelligence when you can’t even write in English. I really have no idea what you said half of the time but it seemed offensive.

    “forget it you wont understand”
    “u just dont understand wht the art of movie making is”

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  3. Memento is such a superb movie with excellent screenplay. No doubt its mind fuck for you because you have only seen half of the movie. Not the whole movie is in reverse chronological order. If you open both the eyes when you watch the movie you see B&W part which runs parallel and is in forward chronological order(the first half of the story). Reverse chronological order is the second half of the story begins from the end and the movie ends in the middle, covering the whole story.

    Now i get why my friend was saying the other day that movies like Memento will not run in India. Its because we are not levelheaded to understand movies like Memento !!!

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  4. quote:”I doubt if any mortal has understood the movie at one go”

    i guess that either makes me and quite a lot of others i know immortal or makes you just plain dumb.

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  5. just watched the movie with the same exact thought wtf? I know what happens in some order, but who is the bad guy the main character is trying to kill, which stories are made up and which stories are real, who do u trust, is everyone just using him, does anyone one person legitmately care for him? It is impossible to say this movie is good, provocative yes but good no. Because u sympathize with the main character you want to believe he is right and Teddy is wrong.

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