Buddhi Free
Enlightenment under the Buddhi Free
Memento
Categories: Movies

Our Rating: 2.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Yahoo Movies Users: B+



Starring:
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano.
Director: Christopher Nolan.

Borrowing a line from Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins, and updating it a little, I’d say that “This is a movie you’ll never understand, and you always fear…what you don’t understand…”. But, having said that, I’ll also add that when you do understand this, it’ll turn out to be nothing more than a sleight of the hand, a common trick, a formulaic story wrapped in a lot of (distracting) fluff, to make it seem more interesting.
The original short story by Jonathan Nolan was novel and highly gripping, to say the least. But sadly, the film adaptation, in trying to stretch the story out, and thus fill the required 2 hours of runtime, loses the novelty. Along the way, you start feeling more than slightly tricked, and by the end, you’re really uninterested. The twist at the end, also doesn’t grip you, or make you jump in your seat the way normal Nolan endings do.
Guy Pearce goes about his role of Leonard Shelby, the guy who can’t make new memories, looking extremely lost. He just about appears in each scene, mutters his line, and then the director cuts to another scene, where Pearce is again seen muttering his lines. No, actually, not even muttering, but puking out. Like he’s just about remembering to say the lines. Like his heart’s not really in it. What could have been a great tragic character in the hands of someone more capable, just about segues into a bumbling fool.
The worst thing about the movie is its editing. People have raved and ranted about it, but frankly, to me, it was just gimmickry. It does nothing, but distract from the actual story. Alright, it’s a new approach, but seriously, the movie would have connected better if it would have been edited conventionally.
The best thing about the movie undeniably, is Joe Pantoliano (Baby’s Day Out). He just excels in the role of John Gammell, who, you are told in the very last scene, is an honest undercover cop. Trust me, and take that guy’s dialogues literally, and the movie will be clear as daylight. Joe just inhabits the role, and brings the right amount of warmth and deceit to the role. The way he plays the role, Gammell appears to be just a sleazy pimp trying to swindle Shelby, but it as only at the end that you realize that Gammell is actually one of the few good guys (if not the only one) in this twisted and convoluted tale.
This movie is actually one big lost opportunity. The director, in trying to befuddle the audience too much, loses control of the movie. The critics also hyped this movie too much, I think partly because they didn’t really understand the movie. They weren’t really looking carefully, because obviously, they “wanted to be fooled”. This movie really represents the absolute nadir of Nolan’s filmmaking, and thankfully, a guy of his obvious talent, went on to greater things (not just the Batman movies, but also The Prestige). Considering that his previous film (Following) and his recent films, have all been way better, this can only be considered as a momentary lapse of concentration, and not an alarming sign. Watch this one, only if you want to know what all the hype was about, and please, please don’t fall into the trap of doubting Gammell.

  • Hi, good post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting.

  • Hi, good post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting.