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Memento question ***SPOILER ALERT!!!***


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#1 of 31 OFFLINE   Ron Eastman

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Posted September 04 2001 - 01:40 PM

***SPOILERS BELOW***

Forgive me if this was already discussed during Momento's theatrical release but I stayed away from all discussion awaiting this DVD release.

Spoiler:
In your opinion, was Teddy telling the truth about them having already caught John G (or who they thought to be the 2nd intruder)? Since Teddy was manipulating Leonard the whole time, it seems impossible to know for sure but I'm interested in other's opinions. I just finished watching the film and I'm trying to tie it all together in my mind.


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#2 of 31 OFFLINE   Doug R

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Posted September 04 2001 - 03:47 PM


SPOILERS BELOW!!!!!!!


I think you have to take everything Teddy says at the end as the truth. Naturally, it may not be, but it makes things fit.

1) He mentions the police file he gave to Leonard has been changed. Leonard has been "accidentally" losing and erasing portions that don't fit the reality he wants to create for himself...the fact that his wife didn't die in the attack.

2) I think it's open to interpretation whether or not the original John G. is actually someone who participated in the attack. If you believe the website as canon, it implies John G. was invented by Leonard while in the mental hospital. But, as I said, it fits to believe there was a John G. and I do believe they already killed him. Notice that in the small picture Teddy gives Leonard at that "moment", that Leonard is pointing to the portion of his chest where he plans to tattoo "I've done it"

3) Teddy points out to Leonard at the end the truth about Sammy Jankis. Knowing it's the truth, Leonard says to himself in the truck "How can I make myself forget what you've told me?"

Love this movie

Doug

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#3 of 31 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

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Posted September 04 2001 - 04:11 PM

Here is one of many discussion threads on this topic.

~Edwin
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#4 of 31 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted September 04 2001 - 05:11 PM

I just watched this DVD tonight.
Simply amazing!

But I just read the above spoiler.

Refresh my memory...Who was the 1st intruder?

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#5 of 31 OFFLINE   AaronNWilson

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Posted September 04 2001 - 07:49 PM

I just watched memento tonight as it came out for home video release in Canada. If we believe what teddy was saying at the end to be true, does that mean that his wife did survive the attack and that he injected his own wife full of insulin sending her into a coma? I don't necessarily believe this to be true but it is a possibility.

Aaron

#6 of 31 OFFLINE   Doug R

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Posted September 04 2001 - 08:23 PM

Aaron,

I think your conclusion is true. Implied evidence:

1) Remember Sammy Jankis tattoo, placed on his hand so he sees it immediately almost every moment of the day. The theme of "Lying to yourself to be happy" and creating a reality for yourself is revealed over and over again. This is how Leonard creates his own reality. Through repetition, routine, and conditioning, he remembers Sammy Jankis which prevents him from remembering the truth.

2) Teddy's comments at the end. "It was your wife who had diabetes." There's no logical reason he would lie here, especially about that. Also, after discussing Sammy, Teddy talks about lying to yourself to be happy.

3) The police file. The only logicial reason why it has been altered (presumably by Leonard) would be to hide the truth, the actual result of the attack -- ie, his wife lived.

4) A quick shot of Leonard in the mental hospital. Sammy Jankis disappers and Leonard is shown. Seemingly, the only reason it would be shown is to imply Leonard's story is really Sammy's story.

5) Also, given the amount of time dedicated to the Sammy Jankis story, it would seem odd if it didn't have more to do with Leonard's life than simply a story he tells everyone. Plus, it would seem like quite the coincidence that he knew someone with the same condition.

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#7 of 31 OFFLINE   AaronNWilson

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Posted September 04 2001 - 09:11 PM

It is interesting that you fully believe that to be true, because I am not so sure that we are supposed to be really concrete on that point. If you look at what was being said about Sammy, that he couldn't use his instinct and that he couldn't figure out not to touch the electrified object. This is what prevented him from getting the insurance payout. The question of the validity of Sammy's condition is what led Sammy's wife to continue testing Sammy to get him to snap out of the psychological as oppose to the physical barriers which was supposedly giving Sammy the short term memory problems. If it wasn't due the fact that the insurance didn't pay out and that the doctors didn't think that Sammy's problem was physical then this would mean that Sammy's wife would begin to love the "new Sammy" just as she said she would if she recieved clarification from the Leonard character.

Now if we look at the Sammy situation and see what we can learn about the Leonard memory loss scenario. Leonard CAN develop learning abilities through repetition, which would lead the doctors to diagnose that Leanord actually had a phyical problem as oppose to Sammy who has got the psychological barriers.

Now if we were to look at what Sammy's wife had done and hoped that it would cast any light on the Leonord situation due to the fact that there seems to be a melding of the two stories we could see that Leonard's wife would have absolutely no reason to doubt Leonards condition, based upon what Leonord told us about his ability to learn through repetition. This would mean that Leonard's wife would have no reason to do the insulin test to call Leonard's bluff because Leonard was in fact correctly diagnosed by the doctors with physical barriers.


THE REAL QUESTION is how much of the Sammy Jenkins story was made up, and how closely does the Sammy Jenkins story resemble to Leonard's story. We ALSO do not know if perhaps Leonard developed his extreme organizational abilities AFTER the death of his wife. You may remember him criticizing the way the Sammy Jenkins method of ammasing notes did not work. How does he know that Sammy Jenkins note taking methods didn't work? Is it because Sammy used this method and ended up killing his own wife, OR is it because Leonard used Sammy Jenkin's method before the death of his wife AND because the note taking system didn't work he accidentally killed his own wife. Perhaps the killing of his wife by himself personally is what caused him into taking such an extreme note taking method (Tattooing the facts was pretty extreme I think). What I am basically saying here is that Leonard has no point of reference to say that Sammy's note taking method didn't work which lead to Sammy killing his own wife accidentally OR Leonard initially used Sammy's ineffective method of taking notes which lead to the accidental death of Leonard's wife because Leonard didn't know any better.

One last point to consider, depending on how much of the Sammy Jenkin's story you believe to be true, do you think that Sammy Jenkin's wife was also killed by an insulin induced coma?

I am not sure how much I believe of the Sammy Jenkin's story I believe or whether I believe any of it. Doesn't it just seem a bit TOO strange how that both Sammy's and Leonard's wife could be killed by a insulin induced coma by their husbands? This is what leads me to believe that only one insulin induced coma took place.

What stands in the way of believing that Leonard didn't kill his wife?
1. His good note taking ability that would prevent him from doing it.
2. His memory problems being a physical problem which would prevent his wife from being in a state of anomie which would allow her to emotionally get over Leonard's memory problems because she would be able to accept them. If she was able to get over Leonard's problems she wouldn't allow Leonard to place her in a insulin induced coma.

As you can see there is too many unanswered questions because of a lack of information would makes it diffucult to make a true judgement on this one.

Aaron

[Edited last by AaronNWilson on September 05, 2001 at 05:06 PM]

#8 of 31 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted September 05 2001 - 04:00 AM

Quote:
One last point to consider, depending on how much of the Sammy Jenkin's story you believe to be true, do you think that Sammy Jenkin's wife was also killed by an insulin induced coma?

I am not sure how much I believe of the Sammy Jenkin's story I believe or whether I believe any of it. Doesn't it just seem a bit TOO strange how that both Sammy's and Leonard's wife could be killed by a insulin induced coma by their husbands? This is what leads me to believe that only one insulin induced coma took place.

Aaron: You forget that Teddy tells Leonard that Sammy Jankis
didn't have a wife.


#9 of 31 OFFLINE   AaronNWilson

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Posted September 05 2001 - 10:01 AM

Dang isn't it just those little important parts which you should remember but you don't that make everything slip into place. Posted Image

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#10 of 31 OFFLINE   Richard RogersBerry

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Posted September 05 2001 - 10:30 AM

If you let yourself be informed by the website along with what you are presented in the film:

Lenny breaks out of the hospital and presumablly is on the run. That's why he doesn't go home (he would know where that was.

His wife is dead when he gets out - so when is his injection supposed to have taken place?

The Sammy Jenkins story is true. All the black and white footage takes place before the actual movie begins.

Much of what Teddy tells him is true - but not all. Teddy has been using him for his own purposes and wants to be in control of him - hence the guilt trip about his wife.

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#11 of 31 OFFLINE   Doug R

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Posted September 05 2001 - 11:52 AM

I think the website implies the timeline:

1) Leonard and his wife are attacked
2) Leonard suffers a blow to the head. His wife is raped but police reports make no mention of her death.
3) There would be no logicial reason he would be in a mental hospital over the blow to the head. I believe the Sammy Jankis story occurs here. His wife, tormented by the rape, is further tormented by her husband's inability to remember anything. Is he faking or is he really sick?
4) Leonard's wife tests him with the insulin. Leonard inadvertantly kills his wife.
5) Leonard sent to a mental hospital.
6) Inside the mental hospital, Leonard struggles to "forget" what he has done. The concept of a John G. is invented or remembered (mentioned by the website but not told which it is).
7) The notes on the website written to Leonard, I believe, are written by Leonard himself. A way to further distance his memories from what really happened.
8) Leonard escapes at some point and goes on the run.
9) Leonard meets up with Teddy, the policeman assigned to their attack case.
10) Teddy helps Leonard with the police file and by hunting down the original John G. (or someone fitting the description).
11) A year passses. We don't know what occurs in here. Presumably Teddy could have used Leonard several times.
12) Teddy discovers a way to use Leonard to kill a local drugdealer, Jimmy Grants. He turns John G. into James G. (notice how Leonard's tattoo is now scribbled to include "Or James"). Posing as a helpful cop, Teddy feeds him info on James G., which Leonard tattoos to himself (Drugdealer)
13) Leonard kills James Grants. Teddy explains what's going on and tells Leonard the truth about his life now and his wife. Leonard asks himself "Can I let myself forget what you've told me"? and writes "Don't believe his lies" on Teddy's picture and tattoos Teddy's license number on his leg.
14) A few days later, Leonard kills Teddy thinking he's John G.

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#12 of 31 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted September 05 2001 - 01:53 PM

I think everyone agrees on most of the stuff and the only disagreement is the physical/mental problem. I think that Leonard had met a Sammy Jenkis when he was an insurance investigator and Sammy had a mental problem. When his wife was attacked and he lost his short term memory, he wrote letters to himself and convinced himself that convinced him that his wife was killed (even though she wasn't) and Sammy Jenkis did to his wife what Leonard really did to his (after he got out of the hospital, he was at home and killed his wife by accident). So now, he has a physical memory loss problem and is running from the law (for killing his wife) and trying to find John/James G. (who was somehow created by him or Teddy) while Teddy uses him.

Just what I think.

Overall, this movie was the best one of the summer.

#13 of 31 OFFLINE   Ron Eastman

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Posted September 05 2001 - 03:01 PM

I'm still a little puzzled by the very quick flash of Leonard in bed with his wife, sporting the I'VE DONE IT tattoo on his chest. Maybe it was his imagination? Posted Image

Great movie! I love it when a film challenges the audience to actually think about what they've seen. I can't wait to watch it again.

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"The last thing I want to remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth." - Del Griffith
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#14 of 31 OFFLINE   Chauncey

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Posted September 05 2001 - 03:09 PM

While Leonard was sitting on Natalie's couch, he has a sudden flashback. It lasts less than a second, but it shows him giving his wife an insulin shot. You will have to pause it to see it, but it is there. Based upon this, I believe he has conditioned himself to believe that what happened to him happened to Sammy Jenkis.

My two cents.

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#15 of 31 OFFLINE   Wes Ray

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Posted September 05 2001 - 04:16 PM

I swear, this movie gets better the more I think about it. Posted Image

#16 of 31 OFFLINE   Doug R

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Posted September 05 2001 - 06:12 PM

I think the I've Done It tattoo just represents his perfect reality. He's in bed with his now-dead wife and he has finally completed his mission.

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#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted September 06 2001 - 07:04 AM

Another great way that i looked at the movie was that in the instant that he killed Teddy, he was suddenly able to remember, and the movie itself was him flashing back through the events of the past few months. I often remember things backwards (the effect before the cause) so I see this as plausible.

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#18 of 31 OFFLINE   Eric Bass

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Posted September 06 2001 - 10:17 AM

The quick flash of Leonard giving his wife the shot is one of the key points during the ending. He can picture the event both ways, as a pinch and as an injection, after which he seems certain it was a pinch. Just the fact that he can picture it both ways seems to indicate that he really doesn't know for certain either way. And I think the movie does an excellent job from start to finish of putting us in his shoes, so we end as he ends..not really knowing anything for certain.

#19 of 31 OFFLINE   chris c

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Posted September 06 2001 - 10:48 AM

Was going to post my thoughts, but DougR listed them almost verbatim from my mind.

#20 of 31 OFFLINE   Chris Knox

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Posted September 06 2001 - 11:07 PM

Quote:
I think the I've Done It tattoo just represents his perfect reality. He's in bed with his now-dead wife and he has finally completed his mission.

As my friend just down the road from me, Doug, has stated in the quote, I would like to add the following:

Teddy helps Lenny find the second guy BEFORE his wife dies from the insulin overdose, he tatoos "I did it" on his chest not in saying that He HIMSELF did the killing, but that he found and killed the second guy. "I did it" is lenny assuring himself that it is all over.

His wife shortly after has a hard time dealing with lenny's condition and sets about the test that later gets her killed. Lenny, not able to deal with the pain of his wifes death must now remove the "I did it" tatoo from his chest for two reasons, 1) so that he isn't haunted by the memory of him killing his own wife and 2) so that he can continue to go on looking for the killer raper (that he already got).

The only way this could be wrong is if the tatoo on his chest that says "raped and murdered my wife" in the shot where he's laying in bed with his wife DOES NOT include the "murdered" part. Lenny later adds this. I need to look again to be sure but I think this explains that reason we see him in bed with her with all the tatoos on him.

this makes sense enough for me...for now anyway.

Chris
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