Monday, 29 February 2016
This film still blew me away sixteen years later. The concept- the story of an amnesiac told in reverse- is an ingenious use of both form and content and a story that can only be told through the medium of cinema. The twist is staggering. Christopher Nolan well and truly announced his arrival with this superb piece of cinema.
Credit also goes to Guy Pearce, given the heavy burden of carrying the entire film, all of which is told from his perspective. The film works because of the ingenious script, however and, while I'm not going to simply recite the plot.. SPOILERS!
The film is gripping, a very clever puzzle that it's fun to see unfolding, but it's also tragic. Leonard's "system", as we see, simply doesn't work, and he is constantly being cruelly manipulated by the likes of Natalie (particularly nasty) and Eddie. But, worst of all, as we see the twist, we learn that he's manipulating himself to give himself a continuing mission. He is simultaneously the villain and one of his own victims.
He's a truly tragic figure, though, a Sisyphus sentenced to never-ending labours by himself. This is a mind-blowing film on many levels and one of the finest I have ever seen.