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The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: September 18th, 2010, 3:06 pm
by AAA
Memento is one of my favourite movies of all time, and I was trying to unsolve it COMPLETELY in the last few years, because after all, Nolan himself said there is an final answer to everything in the movie. So I think I finally got it, and want to explain it to you, but excuse my bad english, I am no born english speaker ;)

The big key scene in the movie is Teddy aka John Gammel, who everybody talks about. Is he a cop, is he a drug dealer, is he lying at the ending, or is he not-I think I finally got it. Please read through the whole text before you start laughing, but he is the Owner of the Discount Inn! But of course, he also deals with drugs, and one of the big deals is with Jimmy and Natalie, and when Jimmy gets killed, Natalie wants to get revenge and fakes the ID of John Gammel, to make him look like the one Lenny has been searching for, even when he isn't. But he is an *sshole, because he is the "cop" calling Lenny every few minutes, because he wants to use him for his pleasure. And so HE is the guy who gives him two rooms, because he sends him to the Discount Inn a second time. And remember the scene where Lenny takes a picture of him? He takes a few steps to the right, that lenny doesn't see the Discount Inn on the picture, under the cover that "there is a bad lightning". But he is not the rapist, but didn't helped Lenny kill the rapist either, he is just a lier trying to get money, and gets shot at the end.

So this is my theory on Memento, which I have been working on for a while now, and it is the first theory I see on the net that has the idea of Teddy being the Owner of the Discount Inn. I am happy to give this to you Nolan Fans out there, and give this free to debate.

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: September 18th, 2010, 10:30 pm
by Erwin Fortuin
Dear AAA,

I'm sorry, but you're completely missing the point. Please see my post 'The true chronological story of Memento' for the true chronological story of Memento. I haven't written the whole story down in words, but I've summarized it in a single frame.

But here here some spoilers:
- Teddy plays three roles:
1. Corrupt cop (he leads Lenny)
2. A victim of Teddy 1 who takes over (he cooperates with Lenny)
3. A victim of Teddy 2 who takes over (Lenny leads him)
- Lenny is sent to a mental hospital three times
1. First time after Catherine (his first wife) takes an OD of the stash she took from a drugdealer Lenny killed for her.
2. Second time after he killed Teddy 3 because he hears him taking a piss in the bathroom
3. Third time after he stangled Natalie (his second wife) in the bathroom under a shower curtain (after having sex).
- Lenny has three rooms in the Discount Inn (which symbolize the three mental hospitals)
- The most important scene of the movie is a single frame in which his five 'friends' are depicted.
- The most interesting scene is not in the movie. It is in the short story by Jonathan Nolan ("The clouds part, the planets get in a neat little line, and everything becomes obvious."). It is the middle part of scene 18 in my frame (the '666' scene). It is when Lenny realizes he's been used al this time (he sees scene 1 to 17 of my frame in one line). The last part of scene 18 is in the movie ("How can I heal if I can't feel time?"). Lenny realizes the only thing that makes him happy is chasing the rapist/murderer of his 'wife'. So he creates his own 'friend'; a foe. He makes up the story of Sammy Jenkis (who was a fraud) as the guy who killed his own wife and now is in a mental hospital. And he (or better said: Christopher Nolan) creates a character who does not exist at all: Dodd. All memories/sounds/feelings of his murders before are in his story so he can justify all these bad memories to himself. He was looking for 'the one that got away'.
- His first John G. is a gay warden from the third mental hospital who rapes him all the time. Lenny can't resist as he is in a straight jacket ("If I could just reach out and touch her side of the bed I could know that it was cold, BUT I CAN'T.")
- In the end he decides to chase a female foe (Jane G.) because some stupid hooker didn't play her part right in his next recreation of a new John G. She doesn't leave as she is supposed to and so she dies. Lenny 'wakes up' over a new body and justifies this new corpse to himself as (from now on) he is chasing a female foe so it's alright he has killed this woman.

If you've studied the movie as I have (for many years) I hope you will understand at least part of my frame. If not, I'm quit happy to answer any questions.

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: September 19th, 2010, 8:27 am
by AAA
Sorry, but I don't understand one word :)

The only thing you just did is count a few scenes that aren't even in the movie, and connect them with the short story that hasn't got any connection, but is just an inspiration for the movie. So in my eyes, you're theory doesn't make any sense, but maybe Im just to dumb to get it :oops:

It's just so crazy, senseless and without any real key scene standing behind it, that I can't say that it makes any sense.

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: September 20th, 2010, 8:41 pm
by Erwin Fortuin
I'm afraid my frame is a bit hard to understand. And I guess we'd have to see the movie together before I could explain you all details. But there are a few things you need to realize:

- The movie IS a story of both Christopher and Jonathan. Clues to solve the story are in the movie, in the short story AND in the Memento-website (which has clear references to multiple mental hospitals and a picture of his first highschool love).
- The openingshot is the most important shot of the movie. It tells you it is a story about five friends (see my prementioned post on this one). It's a story on all possible 'lives' you could have if you have CRS. The brothers just added a diabolical twist to it (hence the 666-scene, the 'number of the beast'). Leonard just doesn't has any luck (the movie is also incredibly funny once you understand it, like my favorite: "You can't just walk in here dressed like that!(*)").
- There are so many 'goofs' and discontinuations that what ever you think you see is not what really happened. The best example is Dodd who does not exist at all but is merely a collection of sounds and feelings of murders Leonard has committed. Another one is the writing on the polaroids. None of them are the same. What's important is how Leonard is feeling. Is he scared? Selfassured? Leading? Being led?
- The best prove that my frame is correct is that it all needly fits (the prime numbers). The short story having 11 chapters is NOT a coincidence. And the female foe just has to be there to complete Leonards quest for all possible 'friends' he can have (the movie only slightly refers to it, like the hooker staying and him redoing a previous tattoo). And I'm sure the brothers must have known only a very proud person (the seventh sin) would go this far and study the movie for years and years, frame by frame, untill it became part of my subconcious.

You know, I've tried to write the frame all out in words. But it would take countless pages if I were to include all the evidence. Maybe I could give a short version if you're interested. But you'd want to see the evidence before you'd believe it.

Fly over to Amsterdam and we'll watch it together.

(*): I've reacted to some other posts explaining more about the movie (including this joke). Look them up if your interested.

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: September 23rd, 2010, 6:31 am
by AAA
I really don't want to know how you interprete Inception: Is Cpbb a radioactive turtle because he farts in the sixth minute? it just does not make any sense, it's like you take any sentence and totally overanalyse it: "He says that he misses his Woman-HE HAS TO BE TTHE ANTICHRIST!" :roll:

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: September 24th, 2010, 3:39 am
by kill_dano
I'm gonna have to agree with AAA. Erwin, your Frame and ideas don't seem to make any sense. You keep avoiding having to prove anything you say by just giving more stories and saying that if you tried to explain it, it would take too much writing. I downloaded your Doc and read it. I can't follow it at all. I looked for this hidden frame you say is in the first shot of the movie and I don't see it.

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: September 24th, 2010, 3:02 pm
by AAA
Yeah, I downloaded it too, and it doesn't make any sense. It begins with an "important" opening shot that I couldn't find in the movie, and goes further with storys that all built up on the non existing opening shot, but wouldn't make much sense with the shot either.

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: September 26th, 2010, 12:41 am
by Erwin Fortuin
Dear kill_dano,

The openingshot is in the middle of the movie. I call it the OPENINGshot because it gave me the opening into the story: it is a story about five friends (interrupted by three mental hospitals). By focussing on these five different friends, the order in which they must have appeared to Leonard and the way he must have 'progressed' from one friend to another, I found the true chronological story (written in steno in THE FRAME - see my earlier post).

I call it the openingSHOT because it is only one frame. I found it after studying the map. When Leonard hangs up the map, he pins a picture of Natalie of it. Just before he does, there is one single frame of movie (1/24 sec) in which you see the place is bordered (before/after), has a question mark (good/bad) and the word 'deleted' (friend=foe).

About the map: did you notice that the Discount Inn is on a corner with Freddy's bar to the right and the grill bar to the left? The Discount Inn (mental hospital) is a mirror between his good side (Natalie, his second wife, working as a waitress in a nice grill bar) and his bad side (Catherine, his first 'wife' (he didn't marry her), working as a waitress in a rowdy bikers bar, Freddy's bar). The flow of the movie is: he never knows in which bed he's gonna wake up in the next morning. The things he does during the day are determined by the friend he is with. Untill in the end he has no friends left and creates his own 'friend': a foe.

More is explained in other replies I wrote. I can't explain all in one reply. Not even in a hundred. But everything can be explained and falls into place in THE FRAME.

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: October 5th, 2010, 9:41 pm
by kill_dano
Here is the magical frame.
Nothing special. You wanna get people to follow you down the rabbit hole by turning them into little detectives like you... There is nothing special here. His map has stuff written before he puts the pictures on it. It's not some hidden frame. I've read a lot of what you have written and I still see nothing that makes any sense. Why do you think that this whole movie is some super deep symbolic thing that is just a mask for a similar but different story? Why would nolan not just tell that story in a way that more people than you (edwin) can understand.

Re: The Truth about Memento (SPOILERS!)

Posted: January 3rd, 2011, 1:15 pm
by TheMagician
I'm not saying any of your theories are right or wrong, because that would be ignorant and stupid, because these are indeed theories. However, I have to say AAA presents a fact-based theory while Erwin here presents a theory much more advanced, based very much upon asumptions. One thing is discussing what actually happened in the movie, and what the truth in the movie was, another is to discuss what the stuff that happened symbolises and what the writer (Nolan) wanted to explain with the whole idea behind the movie.

A huge point in the movie that none of you have talked about though, is how Lenny throughout the movie always talks about his ability to remember stuff by instinct unlike the character "Sammy". Now, you might say: "but this ability might just be something Lenny has told himself to believe", but it isn't: When he gets screwed over by Natalie to go "take care of" Jimmy, he repeatedly says that something was not right (out of his instinct), and as we know, "something" was not right. Unlike "Sammy", Lenny actually HAS the ability to remember by instinct (we have to believe this, because of scenes in the movie, and if you don't, you should go discuss the purpose of life). Because of this ability he will NEVER get the right feeling when he kills one of the guys that that Teddy SAYS IS THE REAL JOHN G. His instinct will always tell him something is not right because he was always TOLD to kill those guys, and never actually felt he had solved the puzzle and gotten the right guy! Now a question is: was Teddy the right guy? Or was he just a con man like AAA says? Here I'm not sure, but I like to believe he was just another con man; because I think a big point of the movie is: Even if Lenny had it all wrong all these years and told himself what he wanted to believe, or if Teddy actually was the rapist, or if Teddy was just another con man and Lenny actually was the one who killed his wife with too many insulin shots or not: There is one thing that is very clear at the end: Teddy has lead Lenny (an obviously good man that's only trying to make things right from what he remembers) into killing people. Teddy took advantage of Lenny all the time, and whatever was the actual truth about who did what, doesn't matter, because Teddy is the bad guy in this story because of this, and when Lenny kills him (at the end of the timeline) he has killed the guy that has been lying, treating him bad and made him done horrible stuff. And I believe his instinct when he kills Teddy will tell him it was the "right" guy and he will get closure, even though the last fact was "forged".

Now, I'm willing to discuss this because I like discussing, BUT I don't want to discuss if you're gonna talk about relations to other movies, other stories, and base your arguments on stuff that you ASSUME the writer and/or scenes in the movie "means" and "reflects". In these kind of theories, you have to base your points on what you see and hear in the movie, and not on other stuff, because then, you can say whatever you want limited only to the volume of your imagination. And that only leaves us with a bunch of conspiracy-theories, because if you go too deep into stuff that actually isn't very important, you will ALWAYS find stuff that "makes sense", even though it's just a coincident (just like you can see animal-clouds in the sky every day, which doesn't necesarilly mean god is a horse (although I MIGHT be wrong: God may actually be a horse living as clouds flying around the world showing off, but my point here is, it will be impossible to come to an agreed conclusion). And like I said, the writers message to the viewers is a whole other discussion.