Very interesting movie which is definitely a different type of movie. Whole movie is based on flashback and present action. Grade "A"
>>By Aopu (Friday, 13 Dec 2002 18:46)
I watched the video twice and I still don't know who killed his wife. Did he? If not, who did? Please somebod tell me!
>>By Emmy (Sunday, 29 Dec 2002 19:17)
The whole part about Sammy Jankis is really about Leonard. Leonard's wife was not killed on the night that the men broke into their house, she survived, but Lenny's head injury made him have the memory loss and his last memory is seeing his wife laying next to him (to his knowledge she was dead). The whole story about Sammy Jankis and his memory problem is really about Leonard. After the head injury lenny was like a 5 year old mentally. His wife was killed by an overdose of her insulin shots and Leonard kept administering the shots because he did not remember he had already done it.
>>By jus (Wednesday, 8 Jan 2003 15:52)
I'm very frusterated with this movie, especially the ending. I want someone to explain to me exactly what happened. If Leonard killed his wife with insulin, why does the death certificate at the DVD ending say she was raped and murdered?
>>By maz (Sunday, 19 Jan 2003 23:23)
Interesting fact: If you pause or freeze frame the movie while he is driving to the tattoo parlour at the very end, while he is speaking, flashes of him laying with his wife go by and there is a tattoo on his chest saying "I've done it".
>>By Lord McDoogle (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 02:46)
In the DVD when it asks you which words were not in the sequence you can choose watch to watch the movie or read to get a coded message.
"Seh vrhtdxy dt pexth adht ix nxr wuhghu : nxrut xu xrut?"
Decoded it reads:
"The quesion is whose lies do you prefer : yours or ours?"
Is this purposely misspelled to confuse the hell out of me? If so, job well done.
>>By Obituary420 (Thursday, 6 Feb 2003 13:51)
Sammy Jankis was definately about him. After the bit where his wife is overdosed with insulin it shows sammy at the home. A nurse walks past sammy, blocking his view, and for a split second afterwards it is Lenny that is in the home.
I'd watched the movie 9 times before I picked that up.
>>By Justa (Sunday, 9 Mar 2003 01:59)
Sammy Jankis was a real person. When Lenny tells him that he actually killed his wife and that there was no Sammy Jankis, he remarks "my wife was not diabetic." His past memories were intact prior to the accident. That is why he did not believe Lenny and wrote "do not believe his lies" on the photo of him. I believe he related to Sammy Jankis and associated with his pain-challenges. This allowed him to fully understand his own condition. Also, how would his wife of let him over-inject the insulin to her? Lenny worked on the murder of his wife by two junkies, was a dirty cop and helped him get revenge on the murderer while using him for his own purposes. The irony was that he was a "John G".
>>By movie machine (Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 20:32)
Sammy didn't have a wife, though.
"Teddy" told the truth at the end of the movie. Lenny wasn't able to learn, but he was able to condition himself. For example, he conditioned himself to write everything down, take pictures, and not trust the phone. The best example of his conditioning is whenever he wakes up, he says something like "the drawers are empty, but I'll look anyway. Nothing but a Gideon's Bible..."
My only sticking points: why does he feel the need to remember Sammy Jenkis? If he doesn't remember killing his wife (with the insulin), why would he need to remember Sammy? There's no need to "cover up" that memory.
What's with the "I've Done It" clip? I imagine that he gets that tattoo after he kills Teddy, but there's no way he'd be with his wife, who is dead. I'm not sure why that was flashed in there.
>>By JMoney (Wednesday, 9 Apr 2003 05:10)
1. To Jus: he suffers from inability to encode short-term memory to long term memory, not mentally challenged like you suggested.
2. the real problem lies here: if we assume Sammy Jankis' life has been fixed to fit Lenny's life. The event where Sammy killed his wife by overdosing insuline can not possibly to memorized.
3. Sammy Jankis' character is real in the movie, a con man whose name been used to fit into Lenny's imagination (huge conflict with number 2)
4. when Lenny heard he has been used by Teddy many time and went back to write down Teddy's car number on the note. "fact 6".
problem: there is no way for him to remember he has tatoo on him (anything prior the incident, right?)
my opinion about memento, the director Nolan possibly want each of us to conclude what is the end of the movie.
>>By Pete (Friday, 11 Apr 2003 01:21)
and still I don't get the 'I've done it'-tattoo, if his wife is dead, why is she lying next to him with that tattoo on his chest, he must have had it when his wife was still alive, so where is it now?...
>>By BigFish (Friday, 25 Apr 2003 17:13)
The scene with his wife is his fantasy, not a memory. Note that he still has a tatoo that says "John G. raped and murdered my wife" in that scene. Freeze it yourself and see. (Sunday, 4 May 2003 01:22)
I saw the movie a few times, read the article on salon.com by Andy Klein(http://dir.salon.com/ent/movies/feature/2001/06/28/memento_analysis) and there's still a few things I didn't get:
1) If what Teddy said to Lenny was true, that it was really Lenny who killed his wife by injecting her with too much insulin, then why did Lenny flat out stated that his wife wasn't diabetic?
2) What was Natalie trying to do exactly with Lenny? Trying to kill Dodd as well as Teddy?
3) If Teddy was hanging around Lenny all this time for the $200,000 stashed in the Jag's trunk, why did Teddy give so much instructions to Lenny on what he should do?
>>By John (Thursday, 8 May 2003 08:19)
To Movie Machine:
Leonard wrote "Don't believe his lies" on Teddy's picture not because he didn't believe him, he wrote it because he was wondering how he could make himself forget that he had killed Jimmy. While he writes it, he is telling himself, "How can I forget what I have done? How can I make myself forget?" Which is why he wrote down Teddy's licensce number. So he knew a few minutes later he would forget what had happened but would look at the picture of Teddy and read "Don't believe his lies." Allowing him to continue his habits in finding "John G." If he wasn't looking for his wife's killer, his life would be meaningless.
One thing I don't understand is the picture of Lenny where he is happy. The one with blood all over it where it appears as if he's pointing to his chest. Teddy tells him that the picture was taken right after they had killed the person who murdered his wife. If Teddy was always telling the truth, then how is the whole Sammy Jankis thing true? Menaing how is Lenny actually Sammy if Lenny killed his wife by injecting her with too much insulin.
>>By eric a. (Sunday, 18 May 2003 02:17)
the film has a certain ambiguity to it.
i love it but the more i watch it the less sence it makes
like when he copies down the licence plate number he copies it down wrongly, its 1ue as aposed to iue or something along thouse lines, but when you see teddy's plate at the end/start it become iue
so who's lies do we wnt to belive, as for the whole conditioning thing near the start of the movie we see when leonard enters his hotel he pushes the door rather than walk into it.
from what i can tell, in my opinoin
leonards problem is mental rather than physical (much as we though with, sammy) and as the story has been told through his eyeshe can blend reality.
i.e when i close my eyes the world doesnt cease to exist
for him it does, the reality of it is he killed his wife, yet has constucted through his illness a way of forgetting this.
we see at the end how vindictive he can be and though the film is about other people taking advantage of him, he also takes advantage of himself.
and hence the tag line of the film, some memories are best forgoten
>>By millman dan (Tuesday, 27 May 2003 14:21)
I think Lenny might be Sammy, I dont know if he killed his wife, but he has that I've done it tattoo and there were missing 12 pages in his papers, John said that Lenny had taken them off cause he was just seeing what he wanted to see, he also said he had become someone else so maybe his name wasnt really Leonard Shelby, besides this Jimmy G. called him Sammy... and I guess Jimmy knew Lenny when Lenny already had this "condition" cause Jimmy's gf already knew about him, she remembers about him when he get in the bar, she says something like you are the memory guy or something about the condition... I dont remember.
I guess John G. used him to get Jimmy G. I guess they were in a business... John took advantage of Lenny cause he knew he would kill Jimmy thinking he was killing the right guy...
I believe that after doing so Lenny kind of realized about it, he felt pissed off and tried to changed things to his own convenience, he forced this John G. to be the "John G." he was looking for, he decided to create his whole story after this.
>>By nagarr03 (Saturday, 14 Jun 2003 11:15)
I think that Lenny was in fact Sammy. If he knew about Sammy prior to his fall in the bathroom he wouldn't have needed a tatoo to remember him, he would have that in his memory.
The flash of him with the tatoos in bed with his wife shows that his wife was alive after he lost his short term memory.
This is what I think happened: Lenny saw his wife on the floor wife after she was raped and assaulted. (not killed) - the last image he had of her was her wrapped in the plastic but still alive - This last image in his mind was that she was dead. His memory makes him believe that she was killed. He would have continued with his life (with no short term memory) with his wife, believing that she was dead until he he would see her - the short term memory thing - etc. Thus the fact that he had the "remembering" tatoos while she was still alive. Sometime after her rape she develops Diabetes and she, as time goes by, is frustrated with his memory loss (Sammy's wife). He accidentally kills her with insulin but doesn't record this and it's all forgotten about in his memory. He still believes that she is murdered and carries on with his plan to find the "killer." Everyone else is using him and don't know anything about his life prior to the memory lose and only play into what he has told them happened
>>By Dino (Tuesday, 17 Jun 2003 05:11)
this is an incredible movie that takes the viewer through the mind of a man who choses to drift through life, hunting the imaginary killers of his wife, using the clues that he gives himself and also by not giving himself information, he lets himself continue his investigation. all Guy Pierce's character wants is to find people and kill them, to have meaning in his life. by the way, hey emma, Lenny killed his wife.
>>By Gandhiman (Saturday, 21 Jun 2003 16:21)
i think that dino is right. he got that tatto that says "i've done it" after he killed his wife's rapist to remind himself that he had killed John G. he gets it removed though so he can find multiple john g's. he conditions himself to remember sammy having his condition and killing his wife. teddy is a undercover cop who is crooked and wants jimmy g's money. he gets Lenny to kill him, but lenny realizes that teddy used him and sets himself up to find teddy as the john g. natalie is jimmy's boyfriend and wants to protect herself so she uses lenny to beat up dodd. the only question i have is if natalie recognized lenny driving Jimmy's car and wearing Jimmy's clothes. she might figure out that teddy was a snitch and intentially send lenny after teddy to get back at him.
>>By jesus fish (Saturday, 21 Jun 2003 16:42)
I think the refrences to sammy jenkis are refrences to teddy about tattoing thing like ive done it or never answer the phone. he really thinks natalie is sammy jenkises wife who died in a sword fight with an agent who tried to kill trinity /natalie. lenny is really neo and save her and kills some bad guysn like joey pants. thanks for the support
>>By cuban stick (Saturday, 21 Jun 2003 17:00)
cubanstick is a retard, trinity kills niobe in the sword fight
>>By bean fish (Saturday, 21 Jun 2003 17:02)
i think it was a great movie with grade a action. dino and cubanstick have made verry good pointsbut, since the matrix is a different movie, cubanstick is a retard. i thought the afterthought thawed its thought into my good eye.
>>By lover boy (Saturday, 21 Jun 2003 17:07)
that was nick herbst who said that. his im is nh610
>>By me (Saturday, 21 Jun 2003 17:38)
I bet there is evidence in the movie that Lenny's wife developed diabetes after the accident (which would reconcile Lenny and Teddy's statements on this)...but I've only seen it twice so I don't know where it is. (and I have better things to do than watch it five more times so I can find it)
>>By Mark (Sunday, 29 Jun 2003 21:35)
The phone on which Lenny is speaking in the black and white scenes has the same number as Jim Rockford's phone (555-2368). I don't think Lenny was in Jim's trailer though.
>>By Mark (Monday, 30 Jun 2003 15:56)
hey, i loved memento, the style is amazing. the whole telling the story in reverse. i have heard of a movie that came out after memento which is filmed in the same style. in the start of this movie a woman is raped as the opening scene, and then it goes into reverse of what happened before then. Does anyone know the name of this movie? i think the movie is maybe in french, but i am not sure. thanks if anyone can give me the name of this movie
>>By err (Sunday, 6 Jul 2003 07:45)
I agree almost completly with Dino. There is only one slight problem. If, what you are saying is true, that 'Sammy' being Lenny had to give his wife shots of insulin everyday, because she developed diabetes AFTER the accident... how does he reemember how to give the shot? While the first time we see Sammy giving his wife the insulin shot, Lenny is narrating something about he remembers the most complicated things because it was done before the accident. Wouldn't that make it the diabetes were around since before the accident? Lenny says straight away when Teddy tells him his wife was diabetic that she wasn't, but has a memory flash back, and he doesn't quite remember if he pinched her or gave her an insulin shot....
Otherwise, excellent thought there
>>By Auntie Bilby (Friday, 11 Jul 2003 06:16)
A WILD SPECULATION
OK. Here goes. I'll try to provide support for my ideas, but remember that we cannot possibly figure this out based on the faulty info we are given... (ie license plate changes etc.)
Premise: Lenny did not love Catherine.
Support: We are shown scenes of L+C prior to the incident. At no time is there any affection between them. In fact, the scene of her reading the book is a scene of a dead relationship. There is no love and her greatest desire is for him to leave her alone and not be "a dick." Catherine is remembered as being angry, shown with her back toward Lenny, and moving away from him. "Leonard" tells Natalie that his wife called him Lenny and said "I always hated it."
Question: Is the book she is reading "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand? Where did I first hear that idea? If so, the driving question of the book is, "Who is John Galt?" Does Lenny interpret her pleasure in reading this story over and over again as competition for her attention/affection? Is this a seed for the name "John G"?
Also, Lenny did not grieve Catherine's death. Granted, his condition precludes this, but notice that the scenario we see of him burning "her" stuff is not so much about grieving her death as it is about attaching his grieving to his conditioned memory of the incident. It happens every time he reenacts the “story” of the night of the attack. He is trying to make himself feel grief and attach that grief to the night of the attack even though we know (and he knew from the police file) that she did not die as a result of the attack. His grief game is not for healing, but to assuage his own guilt for killing her and to motivate himself to revenge, the only purpose of his life. As he tells Teddy on the phone, “Yeah, I’ve got a reason.”
Premise: Leonard would have benefited from Catherine's murder.
Support: When Teddy confronts Lenny about having Jimmy's car and clothes, Lenny says, "I was in insurance. We were well covered." This statement seems to be a very quick response and not something Lenny is "making up." Lenny would not have gotten a settlement as a result of the insulin overdose, but he would have gotten the settlement IF Catherine had died in the incident. Lenny is remembering a thought that he had before his injury – a thought about the settlement he planned to get. In addition, let's face it, this is a classic film noir motif and is just too obvious to overlook. So, Lenny gets rid of the wife whom he has begun to hate, looks like a hero for killing the attacker(s), gets out of his crappy job, and gets the big payoff.
Premise: Lenny was involved in the attack on his wife.
Support: Lenny is conditioning himself to remember the “incident” in a particular way. That is what we see him act out with the hooker. However, the memory that Lenny practices with the hooker is different from the quick flashes of “real memory” that Lenny has when he is with Natalie. The best clue here is the blue bath beads that fall on the floor and break during the memory in Nat’s house. With the hooker memory, we are purposely shown the floor tiles where the beads should have been but were not. This is a clue that Lenny has edited the memory and is “conditioning” himself.
When Lenny is about to kill Jimmy, KNOWING that he is about to kill, we see several flashes of Catherine. A connection of memory stimulated by common feeling? Many people have noted the flash of the strangulation of Catherine (from the attacker’s perspective) during the strangulation of Jimmy. Again, suppressed memory flashing out?
Lenny was an insurance fraud investigator (maybe). Who would know better how to fake an insurance claim? And, as noted above, he did not love her.
Lenny had motive, means, and opportunity.
Premise: Catherine did not die as a result of the attack. She died of an insulin overdose administered by Lenny. (DUH) But, the OD may not have been accidental!
Support: Whenever Lenny is asked the last thing he remembers, he says, “my wife … dying” but we are clearly shown in those exact flashes, that Catherine is alive after the attack, we see her eye blink. By the time the police arrive however, she is “unresponsive” according to the website. Also, the website suggests that she died later. Everyone has seen the flash of Lenny sitting in Sammy’s chair and of course, the memory flash of the insulin bottle while Lenny is at Nat’s house is in COLOR, like all the L+C memories. All the Sammy memories are Black and White. When Teddy tells Lenny that Catherine was a diabetic, we see the flash of the injection, followed by the “CORRECTED” memory of a pinch that Lenny has conditioned himself to. The pattern is always the same in the movie, first we see the real memory, and then we see Lenny’s conditioned memory, (except for the “backwards” black and white Sammy story.) Finally, Teddy only lies when he has a reason to. What would he gain from telling Lenny this story?
As I’m writing this, it seems to me that we see many of Lenny’s real memories and his real personality at Natalie’s house. Maybe the main clues are all available in those scenes.
Premise: Lenny and Teddy may have known each other before the incident and Teddy may have been involved in planning it. (I don’t believe that he would actually risk being involved in it personally.)
Support? Teddy is committed to Lenny beyond just using him. He could have taken the money and run, but he didn’t. Why? Is he just sympathetic or is he protecting an accomplice and in so doing, protecting himself. Teddy does not seem to be the kind of cop that investigates home intrusion or even rape/assaults. He seems like a vice cop. Teddy is well connected to the world of vice. He set up the whole drug buy/scam with Jimmy. He could have found a couple of junkies to do the deed on Catherine and provided them with drugs as payment. If Lenny was a fraud investigator, and Teddy was a vice cop, they could have moved in the same circles and come up with the plan together.
So, here is my admittedly wild speculation…
Teddy and Lenny knew each other BEFORE the incident. Lenny was planning to off his wife for an insurance settlement. Teddy found a couple of lowlifes that he got to do the deed by supplying them with plenty of drugs (found in the car) in exchange for some of the money. The junkies did not expect to die in the attack, they expected to kill Catherine.
Lenny double-crossed the junkies. He planned to kill them (eliminating the witnesses), get the insurance money, (give Teddy a share – or maybe kill him too) and live happily ever after. When Lenny shot the first attacker, the other one attacked Lenny, causing the injury, and then fled.
Unfortunately, Lenny attacked them before the job was done. Catherine was not dead. Lenny, injured but still conscious, tried to finish killing Catherine by strangling her. He passed out before he could finish her off, leaving her "unresponsive" but still alive.
During the next 6 months, Teddy is hanging around the periphery, watching Lenny and waiting, trying to figure out a payoff. The other attacker is still out there and Teddy is nervous about this, even if Lenny isn’t. Later, Catherine dies from the overdose, administered by Lenny, maybe according to the “final exam” scenario in the Sammy story, or maybe because Lenny is worried (when he remembers it) that Catherine suspects that he had something to do with the attack. (Note: If Lenny's memory of giving Catherine the shot is real, and is one of the OD shots, Catherine certainly wasn't expecting it.)
Lenny goes to the home and learns to condition himself. Teddy reestablishes contact with Lenny while he is in the home. Is it by phone? Somehow, during this time Lenny comes up with the “John G” name. Is it due to a page or two from the police file that Teddy feeds him to establish credibility? Was it a clue to the 2nd attacker's identity fed to him by Lenny (who would know)? Is it from Catherine’s book? Is it really a reference to Teddy?
Teddy actually helps Lenny become “functional” again and helps him escape and later “helps” him find and kill the second attacker. Now only Teddy and Lenny know about the plan to kill Catherine and Lenny isn’t even letting himself believe it. The whole plan worked out so well from Teddy’s perspective that Teddy decides to use Lenny to make a big score that will get him the money that he should have gotten from Catherine’s death. Instead of getting the “I’ve done it” tattoo after killing the second attacker, Teddy grabs the picture and holds onto it for future use, and instead starts setting up Lenny to kill Jimmy.
OK, shoot it full of holes.
Consider this a work in progress. What supports it? What conflicts with it? Where does it need to be tweaked? Help me remember…
>>By Larry (Sunday, 13 Jul 2003 15:50)
Thank God I found this! I had wrapped it around my brain a little, but it wasn't very organized. Rock out with your c*ck out. You rule.
Okay, so here's a question, because I have so much faith in you:
How did Jimmy know Leonard in the first place?
At the bar, Natalie tells Leonard that she's heard of him through her boyfriend Jimmy. Earlier/later, when Leonard is in the abandoned building, and *after* Jimmy arrives and calls out for Teddy, he sees Leonard and recognizes him. he speaks to him in a somewhat friendly (definitely not hostile) tone and calls him "memory man," meaning he met him after the incident, so he can't have been the real John G. (one of the thugs Teddy hired for the insurance setup), as I previously suspected.
>>By AniFreek (Saturday, 19 Jul 2003 12:29)
Ooh, I had one more thought:
There's a huge controversy, because supposedly Teddy says all that stuff about Catherine having diabetes etc. Then in the next breath he supposedly says (and I'm paraphrasing for reasons that are about to be clear), "Yeah, the robber killed your wife, and we already caught him and you killed him." Therefore, Teddy just contradicted himself right there. However, what Teddy *actually* says is, "The real John G. The guy that cracked your skull and f*cked your wife. We found him. You killed him." At no point does Teddy ever say that John G killed Catherine. Just something that I just now figured out. Thought I'd share.
>>By AniFreek (Saturday, 19 Jul 2003 12:41)
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