Scott Hardie | January 26, 2002
Before last night, I had seen "Memento" over six times (that means six times plus certain scenes extra times) and read the entire web site and read the short story Memento Mori. I thought I understood it 100%, that there was nothing left to get. But some movies, you really do learn something new every time you watch it. One of the last shots in the movie is Leonard in bed with his wife. I had always registered this shot in my mind, but I didn't look closely at it. Look where her hand is. I never noticed that before. My mind is blown all over again.

Evie Totty | December 9, 2021
Yes, I realize this post is two decades old... but Memento is a top movie for me - but I've only watched it twice (and only the second time so I could 'Red Wedding' it with someone else.

I just didn't see the point because I knew the twist. Interesting that there is more to it every time you watch. And now I'm wondering what the hell that last scene is, lol

Scott Hardie | December 11, 2021
Ending spoilers ahead for a 20-year-old movie.

That shot at the end is Leonard in bed with his wife with the tattoos to avenge her murder already on his body, including a tattoo saying "I've done it." This makes at least a few unnerving implications:

1) Leonard is even more of an unreliable narrator than we have come to realize by that point. A minute earlier, we just saw him set himself on the quest of false vengeance against Teddy, making most of the movie a lie, but now this shot goes further and suggests that Leonard's wife survived the home invasion and there's no death to avenge.

2) If she survived, why is Leonard out on the streets on this vengeance quest instead of still at home with her? Did she die at another later time, perhaps by his own hand? Leonard tells us the story of Sammy Jankis, a man with similar memory disorders who accidentally kills his own wife after injecting her with too many doses of medicine, but that sequence implies that it's actually Leonard who did this (watch his face at 3:26 in that video), and so he's either confused or lying to us/himself as narrator because he can't stand what he did.

3) The "I've done it" tattoo, which appears to be removed in the chronologically later scenes (you can see dots from a missing tattoo in that empty place on Leonard's chest), is especially interesting. It's a note to himself like every other tattoo, but does it mean that "I avenged my wife's murder and can rest now," in which case he already killed someone to avenge a murder that never happened? Or does it mean "I killed my own wife by injecting an overdose" and is now confused and misremembering the timeline? Either way, A) he later got that tattoo removed and is deliberately misremembering his way into a bloody murder quest for nothing, and/or B) he's so confused and delusional that we cannot trust anything that he says at all. Which brings up the biggest question of all:

4) What about the timing of this image while Leonard's closing his eyes behind the wheel? It suggests that it's a memory he's experiencing, not information just for us in the audience. So if he remembers this scene in bed with his wife touching that tattoo, is it something relatively innocuous, like that's just one of the prostitutes he hires to imitate his dead wife and he's picturing his wife's face on her? Or is it something worse, like his memory disorder is not anterograde amnesia after all, and it's actually a far more complicated condition in which he manufactures memories or so badly misremembers the past that anything he recalls might be fiction? Or is it more sinister, and he in fact doesn't have memory problems and can recall memories at will after the head trauma and chooses to live the fiction that he clearly prefers?

(I don't even know what to make of that shot of Leonard in bed with his wife being in color, unlike other flashbacks. It might be a significant hint about the timeline, or they might have just done it that way because it looked less disruptive as a quick insert. Who knows.)

Anyway, this movie is determined not to give us a clear explanation and to leave us with more questions than answers, especially in its final minutes as it floods us with a ton of new information that contradicts everything and forces reconsideration of the entire story. Personally, I'm just blown away that a single image can raise so many questions all by itself. Few movies could pull off a feat like that.

And there's another mystery: How in the hell do I remember all of this twenty years later? :-)

Evie Totty | December 12, 2021
Oh yeah - I do remember that shot!

We'll have to have a 'movie night' and watch it again. (It's on Tubi and IMBDtv so commercials) l.

I remember seeing the movie and relating so much to his memory problems (now I know it's ADHD).

And how do you remember? I thought you had eidetic memory?


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