The film’s most significant feature and the main reason why the film

The film’s most significant feature and the main reason why the film significantly stands out in the industry is because the film progresses in reverse chronological order. This structure is called a non-linear narrative structure. In Memento, there are two sequences of scenes, the black and white scenes and the color scenes. These two sequences of scenes are interwoven, which makes the film complicated and difficult to understand. If the audience wanted to view events in chronological order, they must start by viewing all the black and white scenes in the order that they were shown; then, all the color scenes in the reverse order to that shown. The last scene of the film, which links the black and white scenes to the color scenes, changes from black and white to color without breaking the narrative. Moreover, we could assume that the director attempted to express to the viewers about the complicated narrative structure of the film in the opening scene. The opening scene runs backwards, and it is also shown in slow motion. The scene shows a Polaroid un-develop, a bullet flying back up the barrel of the gun and Teddy coming back to life after the sound of a shot. More about the two sequences of scenes, the two sequences had different perspectives to depict Leonard’s condition. The black and white sequence offer an objective view of Leonard’s character. The viewers watch the protagonist in his hotel room from a third person point of view. On the other hand, the color scenes are subjective and shot from Leonard’s point of view. According to Schmidt (2003), the camera tends to be shot over his shoulder or right behind him in most of the scenes and there are also close-ups of the main character to show his emotions. The audience is also shown details that only Lenny can see such as people’s small face expressions and hand movements. Since the film’s structure is rather difficult to understand than other films, the director hopes that the viewers will watch the film more that once. To prove that, there are scenes and cuts that are impossible to spot while watching it for the first time. One of the most famous and significant one is the scene where Leonard is telling Sammy’s story. There is a sequence that shows Sammy sitting in a chair at an insane asylum after “killing” his wife. The camera slowly zooms in on Sammy, who is sitting, constantly turning his head to look at doctors and nurses passing. At the very end of that sequence, we see Sammy begin to stare at a doctor who has not yet entered the shot. When the doctor does enter the shot, he passes in front of Sammy leaving him out of sight for a split second. The doctor then walks completely out of the shot past Sammy leaving him visible again before it switches back to Leonard talking on the phone in the hotel. However, at the last millisecond of the Sammy scene when Sammy is last visible, we notice that Sammy has been switched out with Leonard. This implies that Leonard is really Sammy way before it is actually found out in the plot twist. This kind of Easter egg proves how much of a complicated film Memento is, which also depicts the complexity of memory. All of these examples of the complicated narrative structure such as the reverse chronological order progression, two color sequences, the reversed and slow motioned opening scene and many others, directly relates to Leonard’s condition. As stated above, Leonard Shelby has anterograde amnesia and short-term memory loss. By overlaying Leonard’s condition and the unique but complicated narrative structure, makes the audience struggle as much as Leonard does. This idea was especially shown in the opening scene. Schmidt (2003) discusses that the vanishing colours on the Polaroid can be compared to Lenny’s condition, which is, “after 15 minutes his brain is as blank as the Polaroid he holds in his hand at the end of the opening scene”. As stated above, the complicated narrative structure superimposed to Leonard’s condition makes the viewers struggle just like him. By taking time and trying to understand the plot is one of the main aspects of this film. To understand the plot, we need to “memorize” all of the events that was shown from the beginning. This could be said to constructing personal identity as well. Even though it is not in chronological order, people must have some kind of memory to understand themselves, which Leonardo is incapable to do. To make the viewers realize how much this ability is so important, helping construct a close relationship between Leonard and the viewers, using two color sequences and by changing perspectives, is crucial in this film. From the reasons above, the narrative structure of Memento shows the strong connection between memory and personal identity.3. The GenreNeo-noir, mystery, To discuss about the connection between memory and personal identity, the genre of Memento is a crucial aspect. The film comes under three genres; crime, drama and neo-noir.Memento is clearly a crim film, with a taste of mystery in it. According to Leitch (2002), the definition of the crime genre is hard to sharpen, but broadly, it is a” films whose primary subject is criminal culture, whether they focus on criminals, victims, or avengers”. In Memento, the crime that is trying to be solved is the murder of Leonard’s wife, which is covered in mystery. Not only Leonard’s incapability, but also the limited clue that the viewers are given. This crime-mystery genre gives the impression of the complexity of memory. Moreover, the identity that Leonard is trying to find or perhaps create is based on this complexity too.Another genre of Memento is drama. According to Buffam (2011), “drama film is a genre that relies on the emotional and relational development of realistic characters”. In Memento, the emotional and relational development is seen through Leonard and Natalie. Moreover, Leonard in particular, is constantly questioning what the truth is and who to trust. His condition causes a conflict with himself and other people, which makes him question who he actually is and what he did. The development seen in the protagonist in the drama genre shows an honest story of its struggles and difficulties. It emphasizes the complexity and the painfulness of amnesia. According to Schmidt (2003), “there is a conventional noir and revenge story behind Memento”. Schmidt says that Memento is a neo-noir and revenge film, which tend to have “alienation, bleakness, disillusionment, pessimism, evil, guilt and particularly paranoia” (Schmidt, 2003) moods; which are clearly depicted in the film. These moods connect to the idea of amnesia and personal identity, that will be further discussed in my paper.4. Comparison with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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