Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"How can you heal if you can't even feel time?" - Memento.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Guy Perace, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Writers: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Another one of Christopher Nolan's finely narrated thrillers, Memento, with its backward narration style is by no means a movie meant for those who just want to watch and enjoy a no-brainer. Your brain will be gnawing at your skull at all points trying to figure out what just happened. It's suspense filled till the climax, not until then, do you figure out what really happened, and only then will you be able to grasp the movie in its entirety. At the end of it there will be a distinct feeling of satisfaction,a feeling that you were challenged intellectually and you came out on top.

Well, that's how i felt while watching the movie, inspite of having watched the Tamil Blockbuster Ghajini, which is an Indian adaptation of Memento. So knowing the story meant that well, Memento was not as suspense packed to me as it should have been, but i liked it all the same, particularly because of its reverse narration style. Memento is about a person who suffers from short term memory loss trying to find the killer of his wife and the culprit for his condition, John G. So every now and then the protagonist is shaken up, not remembering what he was doing, not remembering what he is supposed to do next. Because of Nolan's narration style at no point do we really know more than what the protagonist knows or remembers from the notes he makes to supersede his failing memory. And by backward narration style this is what I mean - the beginning of the movie shows the protagonist killing John G and the climax shows how he got to finding this John G. Morever it ends with the movie open to interpretation. Either the protagonist himself could be the killer of his wife and he is trying to get over his remorse with the creation of a fictitious killer or maybe the person he finds as John G is the real killer.

This aspect of making your brain work is to a certain extent absent in Ghajini. I wouldn't call Ghajini a no-brainer but well the forward narration style that is followed takes off the sheen a little bit. There's also more masala introduced into the script, unrealistic stunts, unnecessary dance numbers, all of which click with the Indian audience, oh well, I guess this is what an adaptation means. The movie shouldn't bomb. There should be elements introduced into it to make it succeed with even the frill loving audience. That's a different school of thought, a different movie industry. So no point comparing Ghajini and Memento.

All the same Memento is a must watch if you are in a mood to think; otherwise, i would suggest, keep it for later.

1 comment:

Yours truly said...

seriously..one of the best movies i ever watched..it takes time 2 understand..and yea...can't watch for timepass...