Thursday, 13 January 2011

Memento Evaluation

The story of "Memento" is of a guy "Leonard" who is unable to make new memories and so uses his body as a notebook for tattoos to remind himself of key information.  This therefore acts as the protagonists 'Achilles heel'. 
At the beginning we are only shown the titles on a black screen, but we still hear a strings dominated soundtrack, used to preempt the tension.

The next sequence we see entirely in reverse. We are shown a canted angle, close up of a developed polaroid, although it is unclear as to what it is a picture of. 

Gradually he shakes the paper until it is blank again, the shot does not change. This is playing around with the audiences idea of reality and perception. .

Continued in reverse, it is then put back into the camera. We have still not been shown the face of the protagonist, as the camera keeps it at a close up, heightening the sense of mystery, confusion and building suspense. 

However here it begins to pan upwards to a  close up of his face, which is covered in cuts and bruises. This implies that he has been involved in action or peril, yet also makes him seem vulnerable. 

The camera returns to his side as the camera pans down his body, showing us how he is well dressed and giving a sense of status.  It then cuts to an extreme close up of blood running back up a wall. This is a very disorientating image as it is unclear as to where it is in relation to the victim. 

It then cuts between close ups of a bullet case on the floor, discarded glasses and then an overhead point of view shot of the victim faced down, surrounded by blood. 

We then see a low angle shot of the protagonist, the gun shoots back up to his hand, he kneels and things being to fly back to their original places: the bullet to the gun; the glasses to the victim and the victim rises slightly. He is then shot and we hear a scream. 

This all happens so quickly, it is confusing for the audience and all the while it is accompanied by the tense soundtrack.
The whole mise-en-scene is very dark for this sequence and confuses ideas of reality and perception. The film itself explores the trauma of "Leonard's" inability to create new memories and therefore his struggle for identity. 

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