Wow!!! Just wow!!! Thinking about it, Memento is one of the most intelligent and unique films. The way it uses it’s story is so fully formed and there is a nice sense of full circle.
However when it ended “Wow” wasn’t my first reaction. It was more along the lines “Has it finished yet?” and was because I got bored. Yes it was brilliant and I don’t think there are many films like it, but I didn’t care. And I think I got bored for the same reason I think it so original: the story structure.
I think the story technique running through Memento creates a predictability about it. There was no doubt of how it was going to end.
* * * Spoilers * * *
If you study how Memento uses non-linear structure compared to Once Upon a Time, I think you’ll see two different stages of development. Memento story continues as a reverse lineal film. You see every footprint before the boot. Once Upon a Time use of structure (I feel) is more controlled. This is because the side narrative tells us details about character and setting, rather than what’s coming next. It leaves us guessing and I feel Memento didn’t.
This teaches me that non-linear narrative is just as easy to over use as linear narrative. I think it’s about finding the right combination to suit the story. There are also some very interesting ideas of identity and even opposing different versions of yourself at stages in your life.
I still rate this a great film. It’s one to see and for me it has taught me a lot about story. Another landmark in film.