Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce, "L.A. Confidential") is a shattered man with ‘a condition’ whos out for revenge. The condition is that he can‘t form new memories and his last memory is that of the grisly murder and rape of his wife and now he is out find the guy who did this to him. Helped only by extensive handwritten notes, Polaroids, body tattoos from which he has to re-establish the reality every 10-15 minutes. Memento opens at the site of murder where Shelby is the obvious killer and then works it way backwards in short scenes. The regression that follow is a puzzle where Shelby is a haze and he doesn‘t know where he is or how he got there or if he knows the people around him or even the hotel room he is staying is his. Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss, “The Matrix” ) and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) are other characters who help or deviate Shelby along the way.
Nolan does a masterful job of keeping the audience in his vise. He grabs you from the outset and leads you through his mental maze.
Memento is a movie that has to be seen from the beginning. Miss one scene and nothing else will make sense. It is a masterful piece of filmmaking one of the cleverest and original works to hit the screen.