100 things to do in 1000 days; #34/42: Watch Memento.
Today, I completed the meaning of life.
Or, what I actually did, was a crossed off the 42nd item on my List.
And I almost didn’t get home in time to write about it because I was seeing and then meeting the cast of AVENUE Q! (It’s my second time seeing the show, and it was just as good this time around, even though the theatre was smaller and the choreography a bit more…intimate.) Kate/Lucy was great, as were Nicky and Trekkie, and musical lovers now have one more convert to count among their number because I AM ALWAYS RIGHT. About musicals being awesome.
[When Nataly sends it, there will be a picture of me with the awesome Nicky. Until then, here I am with the British Brian and Gary Coleman, who, for once, was played by a guy.]
BUT ABOUT THE MOVIE.
I have always really loved Christopher Nolan. Batman Begins was my first, and it was filled, filled, with celebrity crushes. Liam Neeson, Christian Bale, Cillian Murphy, I’m pretty sure there was someone else but it’s 11:47pm, it was great stuff. I’ve since seen the rest of the Batman movies, Inception, and the Prestige (the latter is one of my all time favourites, and not just for the reason(s) you’d think), so I put his classic 2000 film Memento on my list (I also intend to watch all of them, eventually).
So what did I think?
Well, it was pretty good. I watched it twice (because I am nothing if not thorough) to make sure I fully understood everything. I loved the editing style, the acting was good, the story was interesting, all the ingredients were there for a great movie. I liked it. But I didn’t LOVE it (sorry Patrick). As much as I love Nolan, I can’t disagree with the criticism that his movies often come across as cold, clinical intellectual exercises more than stories, and I think probably the reason I didn’t love this movie as much as I could have was because this one fits that to a T. Once you’ve unwound the narrative, there’s not a lot left in there to offer. Sure, there were some suggestions of food for thought regarding the unreliability of memory and the importance it plays in our lives and our view of ourselves, but it was like someone took a picture of the food rather than actually getting the ingredients together and eating it. Every time the story came close to actually talking about issues of lying to oneself and misrememberances, it was pushed aside in favour of REVENGE and TWISTS.
I probably sound harsher than I mean to. I like a good gimmick as much as the next person, and I didn’t have a bad time watching it, either time. I also enjoyed doing a bit of reading on it after. I even came up with my own theories –
- I liked the linking of the black and white story with the colour story through the Polaroids.
- Leonard killed Teddy in revenge for Teddy using him. If he had more than approx. 10 minutes of time to play with, he might have cooled down and re-thought that decision.
- The wife probably had diabetes, and Leonard was mixing up memories from before the “incident” because that happens even when you HAVEN’T been permanently psychologically and physiologically scarred.
There’s a lot of fascinating stuff out there, and I think I might want to watch the chronological cut of the film one of these days (here is an excellent visual for the structure of the movie). For me, this movie is like Paul Rudd is like religion for Jeff Winger. I see the appeal, and I would never take it away from anyone. But I would also never stand in line for it.
The clock is actually chiming midnight as I press “publish.”