Date First Watched: Long time ago
Date Last Watched: 17/05/2007
# Viewings: 3+
I think it was probably in 2005 when I first watched this, but I’m not entirely sure. As you can see, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it and in that time I’ve heard numerous anti-Nolan arguments and complaints about the storytelling method of this film and such and I was curious to revisit it and see that point of view. But I still disagree and think it’s a really great film.
I don’t really understand people complaining about films that aren’t told linearly because it’s a ‘cheap gimmick’. No it’s not. It’s a fecking storytelling method. It’s not about the story, it’s how you tell the story. You could have the most inane plot or idea and tell it so brilliantly that it seems amazing. And that’s what film aims to do. Even if it’s not a narrative film, it’s showing or telling you something in the way they think is best to tell it. And the way this story is told is very effective I think. It gives you the closest experience you can have to Leonard’s experience. That is, we don’t know what comes before anything. We are getting a more complete picture, sure, but it’s as close as we can get.
It’s also surprisingly easy to follow. I’m not anti-Nolan, but I’m not pro-Nolan. I think he tells some stories very well and others he gets carried away with exposition (like Inception. Which I actually like, but jesus did he ram it into you. I’m not 5. I can put together a story). He manages to strike a good balance here. Everything is explained, but it doesn’t feel like it’s beating you over the head with it. He crafts it quite well and it seems like it would be pretty difficult to tell a story backwards and not have the audience get lost.
So yeah I think it tells the story in the most effective way and is a really great film. The actors are all very good, it’s well-paced and well-shot. The score is surprisingly understated and is used pretty well too.