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Quite the thought experiment
Memento is a film that revels in ambiguity without being overindulgent. It's easy enough to see why. Pay close attention to the opening scene, and recall one thing. For each of these little scenes, this is all Lenny can remember. How would you act in that situation, knowing what Lenny does? For your typical viewer, cracks in the narrative become obvious by about the fifth scene, earlier for a troper, but none of this is a luxury Lenny possesses. What he lacks in memories he makes up for, unfortunately, in hubris. He assumes the greatest of his general skill set, and places the utmost trust in the notes he's written for himself. He never assumes that there is a contingency that these two states of being cannot handle.

And that's the brilliance of the whole enterprise. Put yourself in Lenny's shoes. Your wife is dead, and you're hunting for the real killer. Do you have time for that angsty garbage about self-doubt, or do you need to move on and get it done with what you've got? Be honest here, as since this is TV Tropes I'm willing to bet you've got a zombie response plan. We'd all like to believe we're Crazy Prepared for anything, but what if you're really not that smart? What if you're wrong? Is true grit about blasting a zombie's face with a shotgun, or buckling down and admitting that you could have made a horrible mistake? You know, like pretty much everyone on the planet has done at some point in their lives?

When it gets right down to it, that's what Memento is about. It's not the suspenseful crime thriller action, and it's not the wacky gimmick of the film being shown in a really strange chronological order. It's about the Enemy Within, only this is a far more terrifying prospect than any of the examples on that page. It turns out we don't need a dark, demonic external powers to lose control over ourselves. Rather, all it takes is the underestimation of a single critical weakness. And the worst part? You'll convince yourself that since you came up with the original idea, there's no way anyone could be pulling your strings.
Nice review... first line says it all!
comment #7700 case 17th May 11
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