Memento, a film directed by Christopher Nolan, is a raw psychological thriller that can be likened to the works of Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick. It is the antithesis of today's Hollywood blockbuster, with no glamour, huge special effects, or big stars. Nolan instead focuses on the art of storytelling and creating an immersive, surreal reality unlike any other. The film begins at the end and works backwards, symbolized by the opening shot of a Polaroid picture going from fully developed to undeveloped. .
The storyline is particularly intriguing. Leonard Shelby (the main character, played by Guy Pearce) is a former insurance investigator out to exact revenge on "John G.", the man who murdered his wife and pistol-whipped him in the back of the head so hard that he was left with a crippling psychological disorder, characterized by his inability to form new memories. He cannot even hold a conversation for more than a few minutes or else he will forget what he is talking about. The only things he can remember are the events leading up to the incident and notes that he writes to himself, often written on a Polaroid picture (for instance, a picture of someone he has met) or on his body, in the form of tattoos. .
There are two main characters Shelby comes into contact with. Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss) is a waitress Shelby is sleeping with and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) is Leonard's weasely friend who warns him that Natalie is simply using him to her own advantage. To go into much more detail about the plot would give away too much. The less you know, the more likely you are to enjoy the experience. .
This film captures the point of view of Leonard remarkably well. You can feel the confusion and anger that he feels because he is uncertain of everything anyone says, even his own thoughts. He can't remember anything and is totally left at the mercy of "strangers". He does not know who he can trust, or who could be deceiving him in his quest for revenge.