Beranda » Narrative Concepts and Storytelling » Week 3 – Presentation and structure of stories in printed forms: The advent of the book (Memento ~ Non-Linear Narrative)

Week 3 – Presentation and structure of stories in printed forms: The advent of the book (Memento ~ Non-Linear Narrative)


Title       : Memento
Year       : 2000
Director : Christoper Nolan
Genre   : Thriller

Memento is a movie that narrates about the life of a man named Leonardo who suffers from physiological disease that is short-term memory loss. Leonardo was not able to remember the things he had done in previous several minutes since he was hit by a man when he try to save his wife from being raped and killed by two men. In this movie, he always feel the same things every morning he starts the day, like “Where am I?” The things he remembers are only his name, his wife, and his physiological disorder.

Christoper Nolan, the director of “Memento”, uses the non-linear narrative method for the timeline that use not the common chronological order from the beginning of the end, but it precisely narrates scene by scene from the last scene to the first scene. Nolan is indeed known with his non-linear narratives movie thriller. The non-linear method he uses in Memento is to create the empathy of the watcher to Leonard that only can know the present situation and do not know about the past. With this method, Nolan placed the watcher in Leonard’s life, so the watcher also only know the present situation (in the movie) and not know yet the background behind it.

The movie has three parts, they are: black white scenes about the conversations between Leonard with an unknown cop in telephone, scenes that related with Teddy and Natalie, and the scenes that describe a condition of a man known as Sammy Jankis that also has a physiological disorder as Leonard. The scenes with Natalie and Teddy are scenes with the order: D-E, C-D, B-D, A-B, so it shows scene by scene backward.

Two parts about the conversation with an unknown cop and story about Sammy Jankis have the ordered timeline from beginning to end, and both parts are related. In fact, Sammy that be told by the unknown cop to Leonard is actually himself, so when Leonard was hit by a man, his wife actually was still alive and her death is because she was injected by the overdoses insulin. However, since Leonard’s last memory is the night when his wife is raped, he just simply concludes that his wife’s death is because raped by two mans. Therefore, Leonard was haunted by the ambition to kill the killer that he knew as John G.

Next scenes show about how Teddy help Leonard to find John G, but then next scenes prove that Teddy also use Leonard’s weakness to get the wealth from Jimmy, and Natalie uses Leonard to give her revenge to his boyfriend, Dodd. Finally, the last scenes show that actually since the beginning, Leonard had already killed John G, but he then realize that he never satisfied. Therefore, he lies to himself by make “fake” clue tattoos on his body to “lead” him to John G, such as use Teddy’s license number as John’s.


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