Memento is -for the most part- a great film. And a large portion of what made this inventive murder mystery/ amnesia tale so fascinating and compelling was its imaginative, yet bare-bones approach. Memento was Christopher Nolan’s second feature length film, but it’s the one that he has since built a career off of. It was a highly innovative addition to the often by-the-numbers, thriller/ mystery genre.
Memento, for the uninitiated, tells the tale of Leonard Shelby, (played by Guy Pearce) a man suffering from a severe form of dissociative amnesia that causes his memory to reset every few minutes. For a normal person, this condition would be incredibly debilitating, and for someone on the hunt to find his wife’s killer -even more so. The story is laid out in two sections, one which is told in reverse and one which is told chronologically. It’s a method that could have gone awry in less capable hands; on description alone it sounds a bit gimmicky, but Nolan makes it work. As the film moves simultaneously forward and backward, more is revealed about the murder and Leonard’s condition. It’s brilliantly laid out, and many of the methods used in the film have since been copied by projects that have -primarily- failed to measure up.
Memento was one of those films that created a groundswell of interest simply due to how unique it was. It has a certain charm that -I can be fairly sure- will be sterilized and flattened in a remake. There is absolutely no reason to remake this film. It holds up just fine in 2015 and there is nothing that can be added to this story that will enhance the film in any way. Adding anything to this story will serve to muddle the entire narrative – and a straight-forward remake simply will not be able to capture what the original was able to. This is a lose-lose in every regard. AMBI Pictures, please do yourselves a favor and shelf this project.
The next Memento is out there, stop being lazy and go find it.
by Jesse Mechanic