New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, News & Discussion about Major Motion Pictures, Press J to jump to the feed. He didn't have his gun presumably because he was off duty, and not expecting any trouble. So our memories end up reflecting the truths we want to believe, rather than a reality we'd rather not face. Also, is Teddy really a cop? Memento begins with an ending. Whenever Lenny "wakes up," when his short term memory resets, he can't remember what he was … He'd rather have this image of his wife still loving him that was robbed for him instead of him being the responsible for driving her away. As the movie goes on, we watch it through that lens, and see Teddy's actions as the actions of the villain, who is trying to manipulate Leonard. This much wasn't as clear until I watched the film in the correct sequence. The point is, Leonard is trying to solve those mysteries, while in the end being wholly unaware of what they mean or if he's already solved them or not. It's been a while since I saw it, but didn't it end with "friend confronts dude with the horrible truth - they've been killing people for some time now - and dude decides to put a stop to it, by telling himself that the friend is the wife-killer.". Well, Leonard tells us that Sammy ends up there. Movie ends at the start where dude finds his wife dead and wants to kill the guy who killed her. You probably didn't remember Sammy Jenkins. It's also revealed to him that he himself is Sammy Jenkis. Yes, Teddy is a cop: Natalie says as much. Don't Panic! It would help if you could elaborate on what exactly got you confused... Dude's wife gets killed. I've put stars around the 3 main story twists: Memento spoilers -. Did Sammy kill his wife with insulin? Who ends up in the mental hospital? Just saw the film, have a ton of questions about it. Showing us each scene in reverse order has the effect on first viewing of putting us in the mind of the protagonist. Also, at first you empathise with Leonard. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. His life pursuit at this point is to track down his wife's "killer". and the answer is yes, cause he needs a goal, a drive in his life. So, of course, the injection memory is just the other memory distorted by Teddy’s suggestion. Press J to jump to the feed. Friend sets him up to kill another guy. We watch enigmatic amnesiac Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) murder John “Teddy” Gammell (Joe Pantoliano) and then time runs in … He tells Natalie this. The point is that it doesn't matter, because Leonard believes it, since he can forget that he set himself up. Okay, here's a rough outline. It seems he doesn't always remember having the flashbacks (cannot retain memories of the flashbacks); this is why he cannot reconstruct his past with any certainty. 8 years ago. It will be clear. If his goal and drive in life is to find and kill his wife supposed killer, and not only did he already do that a year ago, he know has a picture of the most recent one (Jimmy), why burn it and do it all again? The twist was that Leonard set himself up to kill Teddy, regardless of Teddy's guilt. 6. Except, several hours later in the chronology — which is to say earlier in the film — Leonard, sitting at Natalie’s house, has another momentary memory flash of preparing the injection. He needs to live in his amnesia world to be happy and to rationalize all his life up to that moment. One of the key lines in the film is "We all lie to ourselves to be happy". That there's a possibility he already caught the killer once and he's been doing it over and over again over the years or that even there was never a killer and he's actually the guy of his insurance story (don't remember the name). (It appears to be the exact same shot as before.) It's my fav film of all time and Nolan's masterpiece. In fact, they are largely irrelevant. Why didn't Leonard's wife have a name? Leonard undergoes psychological trauma from this incident. Each seen is presented in reverse order. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the explainlikeimfive community. In most movies, I'd assume that telling the story backwards was a gimmick, but not with Memento. Archived. This is only my take on it, but I think teddy is lying, Sammy couldn't learn from repetition while Leanord could. He forgets that he killed his wife, and since his last long term memory is the violent incident this becomes the point in time in which he believes his wife was killed. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, News & Discussion about Major Motion Pictures, Press J to jump to the feed. For a man like Leonard Shelby, whose entire existence is predicated on the memories of his wife's rape and murder, it's even more urgent that he "sanitises" his memories to justify his ongoing, and (unknown to him, never-ending) quest for vengeance. And what's stopping Teddy from just killing Leonard in that building if all he wanted was the money in the trunk of the car? Leonard realizes that he needs this purpose in his life, so he destroys the shirtless picture, and gives himself a false clue "Don't trust Teddy". That's made as the catalyst for Sammy's story so it's safe to assume it's not a detail Nolan forgot. The scene of Leonard and his wife in bed, the triumphant tattoo on his breast, can’t be a flashback. The scene of Leonard and his wife in bed, the triumphant tattoo on his breast, can’t be a flashback. Memento is a movie that premiered on the 5 th of September 2000 at the Venice International Film Festival and later hit European theatres in October. Teddy explains that Leonard does this because it gives his life some sort of purpose. The brilliance of Memento is not so much in the plot as it is in the construction. Why didn't he have a gun with him when it got nasty with Leonard in the abandoned building? He is a man who would happily kill an innocent man (a friend, no less), just for a moment's peace. It's more like the first time you watch it, you learn to get used to the format and are surprised by the twists. If he were to accept other version of reality, e.g. the one where they were indeed robbed but the wife survived, that would mean that all he has been doing so far (looking for his wife killer) would mean nothing and that's just too much for a single man to take it. Even if the image was a false one, influenced by what Teddy said, how can Leonard still remember it hours later? I must emphasize that his trauma is only psychological. It is entirely possible that Teddy was lying to him about that. We’ve seen already that he doesn’t have the tattoo, so he can’t have had it in the past. Trouble is dude doesn't remember killing anybody, so he still doesn't feel like he got revenge. Movie starts at the end. https://www.quora.com/What-really-happened-in-Memento. Why consciously make the decision to kill Teddy? the movie is backwards. Would appreciate if anybody could clear it up for me! Edit: Don't really have the hang of the 'spoiler tags' thing, but hopefully that's working. So we feel his frustration and disorientation throughout; and, as we discover that characters are manipulating him for their own gain, we understand his paranoia and get a sense of how difficult life has become for him. It was from there that he decided the best way to do so was to tell the story in reverse. In most movies, I'd assume that telling the story backwards was a gimmick, but not with Memento. At the end, it is revealed that Leonard fed himself his own misinformation. Who is Leonard even? I get that he's going to wake up in the morning and forget it, but if he takes Jimmys picture, and on the back writes "I killed him" or something, and sees that every morning.. wouldn't he be done? Yup, it wasn't that from the beginning Nolan wanted to make a movie that went backwards. He manipulates Leonard to kill another man a year later. He basically decides to lie to himself to make his life manageable. Further evidence of this is in the scene when Sammy Jarkis is sitting, staring into space, in the asylum, and the image changes for a spit second to Leonard's face. Is it all just a fantasy? It's a film where watching it twice is is probably required to appreciate it fully. You want to think that he is a man searching for his wife's killer. well, assuming nothing else is certain, teddy is guilty of either: being a crooked cop looking for money and manipulating leonard, he's a drug dealer, faking as a cop, and manipulating leonard. Let me explain in chronological order. In the end, memento is the type of movie that prides itself on being vague and ambiguous, so it's hard to be 100% certain. Everything before this is either a total blank, or comes to him in flashbacks (of uncertain veracity). Teddy MAY have been guilty, but he just as easily could have not been -- he could have been telling the truth. Did he plan on using him again for his own good? There are some things that happened years ago that he can remember, but these are only to drive the plot. The last thing Leonard remembers clearly is his wife, dying. He didn't take it with him when Leonard called him to help with Dodds, either. What is the twist, which people are talking about? His wife wants to snap him out of this, so her plan is to continually get him to inject her with her with her insulin. Some dude breaks into their house, bashes Leonard on the head and hurts his wife. Ten second flashes of memory tell how he chases down another guy in order to get revenge for the killing of his wife. get the DVD and use the "reverse scene order" option. Who killed Leonard's wife, who is Leonard, who is Sammy Jenkis -- none of these questions are answered in the film. The "twist" in memento comes at the end (aka the beginning) when he finds out that MAYBE all he's been doing is just a lie. Teddy didn't need to kill him: all he needed to do was stay away from Leonard long enough to be forgotten by him. However the events of him actually killing his wife reside in his subconscious and he manifests the story of Sammy Jankis. Yes, Leonard has a quick memory flash of injecting his wife, but it’s followed by a repetition of an earlier version of the memory, where he was merely pinching her. Anyway, that last line "Would I lie to myself" is pretty strong and the turning point in the movie. Doesn't matter why he can't remember anything from the distant past. But Teddy tells us that Leonard’s nuts, and then there’s that flash in which we see Leonard himself there. At the beginning of the movie, we see Leonard kill Teddy, and we assume Teddy's guilt.