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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick G, Jan 23, 2002.
Can anyone point me to a summary of exactly what happened in Memento?
Well, my take on the film is this: Teddy (a cop) was assigned to Leonard Shelby's case. The two of them finally hunted down the missing attacker - and killed him. Teddy photographed it, but Leonard still doesn't remember. Eventually, Teddy begins coming up with more schemes which take up months (the events in Memento take place several months to a year after Leonard's wife was attacked). Teddy tricks Leonard into thinking that a drug dealer in town, Jimmy Grant, is the actual killer he's been looking for. Leonard kills him; before he dies he mentions Sammy Jenkins name , meaning Jimmy is familiar with Leonard's story. Eventually, Teddy reveals the whole plot to Leonard. Leonard, bitter over what he's become, sets himself up into believing Teddy is actually the killer. He steals Jimmy's car and clothes, and ends up at a bar where Jimmy frequents, where his girlfriend works (Natalie). Natalie, knowing something is wrong with Leonard, sets a plan into place; when the drug dealers involved with Jimmy come looking for him and believe Natalie is responsible, she tricks Leonard into going after one of them (Dod), and he eventually runs him out of town. For this , Natalie agrees to help him. When Leonard set himself up to kill Teddy, he wrote down Teddy's license plate number. Thinking this is the real killer's license plate, he gives it to Natalie; she takes and finds out Teddy's real name , which is actually John; when Teddy shows up looking for Leonard at his hotel room, Leonard goes along with him; they end up going to the abandoned building where they originally killed Jimmy Grant; there Leonard kills Teddy, believing him to be the real killer; and the story ends.
There are still many questions left by the film, such as
did Leonard actually kill his diabetic wife? Or was it Sammy Jenkus? Does Leonard not want to face the real truth, or is Teddy just screwing with him? Remember, Leonard would only remember what happened up until his head injury, you never actually see any evidence that his wife was murdered. Perhaps, because he was too horrified to realize the truth, his mind mixed Sammy's story (which was supposedly a conman's hoax) with his own. In one of the flashbacks scenes after Leonard kills Jimmy, you see Leonard holding his wife on the bed, with a tattoo on Leonard reading (I DID IT); also, when referring to Sammy Jenkus in the black and white portion of the movie, where he says Sammy ended up in a home because of his inability to develop a system, you see quick cuts of Leonard in Sammy's chair in the mental hospital...
Overall, this is an excellent film, and is by far the best of 2001 and requires multiple viewings. Highly recommended.
christopher nolan has stated in an interview that the truth can be known through careful viewing or something to that effect. there are a couple of decent sites that have explanations but none of these can be known for certain. i dont think nolan will ever state definitively what happened. most of the confusion lies in what happened before the stuff in the movie takes place.
here some links with possible explanations but dont check them out if you havent seen the movie:
you could also discuss some things on the imdb memento message board which obviously contains many spoilers.
This just popped into my head:
The "I Did It" tatoo doesn't mean he finally killed his wife's killer, it means he killed her.
Aye, I agree, the I DID IT tattoo leans more towards the idea that he killed his wife.
Have any of you checked out the special features of this disc? This is where the most clues to the plot lie. It's almost a continuation of the film. Clicking on the highlighted lines in the newspaper clippings reveals quite a bit.