Natalie's motives

The famous 2000 film that put Christopher Nolan on the map tells the story of a man on the hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.
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Let me know if I got this right. I was trying to explain away what Natalie's role was throughout the film to a group of people who just saw the film for the first time, and I might not have it down that well. Hopefully somebody can clear the air:

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So Leonard killed Natalie's boyfriend (Jimmy), and Natalie mistook Leonard for Jimmy because of the car he was driving and the clothes he was wearing. Natalie tested Leonard's honesty about his memory condition with the spit drink, he passed, and so she took pity upon him and brought him home to help figure out his caseload.

Jimmy's disappearance (and a missing $200,000) prompted Dodd to pursue Leonard, but he found Natalie first and scared her a little bit, actually threatening her as she so claimed. Natalie took action to protect Leonard and herself by leading Leonard to believe that Dodd threatened and attacked Natalie (even though she baited Leonard to hit her, which of course he didn't remember).

After Leonard scared away Dodd, Natalie returned the favor to help Leonard pursue his wife's killer by attaching a name with the license plate from her friend at the DMV. Although there is no reason for us to believe that Natalie knew Teddy was the same 'John Edward Gammel' she helped Lenny track down and kill (and that she probably doesn't know who he actually is anyway, or so it seems), it became a double-win for her since Teddy was the initial cause of Jimmy's death.

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Close? I can't enter her mind with parts of it (like did she actually try and protect Leonard, and was she actually returning the favor because he helped her?).

On that note, I'm still curious what Leonard's conversation was like with Dodd in the car. I feel like he could have gotten a lot of questions answered at that time and he simply didn't bother, and rather just chose to scare him out of town.

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EzekielAxel wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 6:48 am
I’m not hating, she’s ok. I don’t mind her but I am genuinely curious, what is it about her that has all the boys wanting her? I don’t understand. She’s pretty but from what I see that’s it. I don’t see much of her personality and she’s so over hyped for no real reason- at least I don’t see it. Again I’m not hating just genuinely curious. I also want the podcast to go back to being David and Jason, without her.
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I think you got it all right, but I don't understand why she accepts Leonard so easily, when he shows up wearing her boyfriend's clothing and driving his car. Given the business they're in, I would think she would be scared to death; but instead she just acts annoyed. Of course, after she confirms his memory problem, she realizes she can use him; but she can guess that Leonard has murdered her boyfriend, and she doesn't seem concerned. Plus, the picture she has of her and him show that they were close. Another thing I don't understand is how Jimmy knew Leonard already when they met in the deserted building for the drug dealer; He calls him the "memory guy" and says "Sammy" before he dies.

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Melchizedek wrote:
October 27th, 2022, 12:29 am
Plus, the picture she has of her and him show that they were close. Another thing I don't understand is how Jimmy knew Leonard already when they met in the deserted building for the drug dealer; He calls him the "memory guy" and says "Sammy" before he dies.
According to Teddy, Jimmy talked with Bert at the Discount Inn in case people were sniffing around the area (police, etc.). I guess Leonard caught their attention. They must've introduced each other when they found out that he was "harmless."

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OK, yea, I went back and watched the final scene again. Teddy says that Jimmy was dealing drugs out of the Discount Inn, and when Burt saw Leonard taking a picture of the Inn's sign, he alerted Jimmy. But like you said, Burt and Jimmy apparently decided that Leonard was not a danger. And Teddy said that Jimmy knew about Sammy because Leonard had talked to Jimmy, and Leonard tells everyone about Sammy. But that doesn't explain why Jimmy says "Sammy" before he dies. As I recall, it was Teddy that recommended the Discount Inn to Leonard, but why would he do so? Was it just an accident that the Discount Inn happened to be a place for drug dealing?

As for Dodd, he was involved in the drug deal that ended up with Jimmy dead and Dodd's money lost. And apparently he held Leonard responsible because he's driving Jimmy's car. But that doesn't explain why he's recklessly trying to kill Leonard out on the street. He should be concerned first of all with getting his money back. And I don't think he would be scared away by Leonard and Teddy; after the time they spent together as Lenny's captive, and after they let him go, he could have figured out that Leonard was not really dangerous. Logically, he should have continued pursuing Lenny and trying to get his money back after he's released.

The problem with finding out the truth of what happens here is that Teddy is apparently the only one who knows what really happened, but he constantly lies to Lenny. Why would Lenny take out 12 pages of the police file to "create a puzzle you could never solve"? That doesn't make any sense. We do see Lenny lie to himself at the end, when he decides to set up Teddy as the person responsible for his wife's death. And Teddy says he lied to himself about his wife's death; blaming Sammy for killing Sammy's wife; but that was apparently unconscious, what's called "projection," not a conscious setting himself up to a life of frustrated searching. Teddy says he set himself up because it gives him a purpose to his life, a romantic quest. But we don't see that version of events validated anywhere. His life has purpose, but it's more torture than anything.

Another problem. According to Teddy, they have been killing many drug dealers named James or John G. Yes, it's a common name, but I don't think it's common enough that one could make a career of killing and robbing drug dealers named John G's.

One more question: Teddy apparently had lots of interaction with Lenny after Lenny gets the tattoo of Teddy's license plate #, which is the time of the movie, several days I would guess. Wouldn't Teddy notice that his car has been identified as the wife's killer's car? I would have to go back and review the film to see if Teddy ever had interactions with Lenny with his shirt or clothes off, but it seems that Lenny is always taking off his clothes to see his tattoos, and given Teddy's interest in Lenny, it seems he would monitor any new tattoos.

Another plot hole is that Teddy finds it so easy to set up drug dealers for murder and robbery. Those guys don't trust anybody, and for a big drug deal, they come with several well-armed men.
Last edited by Melchizedek on October 28th, 2022, 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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