Sai SambaMr. PoppLiterature of Film26 January 2018The Master ManipulatorsThe film Memento by director Christopher Nolan is where Leonard Shelby, who suffers from short term memory loss, wants revenge for his wife’s murder. Leonard cannot form new memories, which makes it particularly difficult when he is trying to get revenge. Because of Anterograde Amnesia, everyone he meets tries to help him. Teddy, a corrupt cop sends him in an endless path to find John G.
Natalie tries to take personal advantage over him to kill Dodds. However, the biggest villain is Lenny who manipulates the audience into believing that he suffers from Anterograde Amnesia. Teddy is the first character that served the role of the villain. His motives are the underlying cause of why he is considered a villain Teddy tries to cheat Edmond to get the money.
Teddy manipulates him by the way he acts: Teddy acts like he is Leonard’s friend. He acts like he wants to help Leonard find his wife’s murder, but all he wants is the money. Teddy, though, honestly helps Leonard against Natalie.
He tries to persuade Leonard to investigate himself and question where he got the suit and the car. Teddy continuously sends Leonard on the never ending cycle of finding John G, which results in his own death. Natalie, a femme fatale, manipulates and uses Leonard for her own benefit. She uses Leonard to kill Dodd because he is chasing her for Jimmy’s money. She pretends to care for Leonard. She even has a fling with him.
She shows the type of person she constantly refers to Lenny as an “idiot” or “retard,” and forces him to commit violence. Leonard knows how horrible she is at one point but distracts him so cannot find a pen to write it down. Natalie breaks his concentration and makes up a whole story making her seem like a victim. Leonard trusts her because of what he originally wrote down on his Polaroid picture of her. “She has also lost someone. She will help you out of pity.” She is a woman who is the master of manipulation. She even gives false evidence and sets him to kill Teddy.
The biggest villain is Lenny, himself, because I feel that he does not suffer from Anterograde Amnesia. Anterograde Amnesia is the center of all conflict in Memento. Lenny, I believe, is a stone cold killer. Lenny finds people like Teddy and Natalie and lets them take advantage of him because of the disorder. How can Lenny constantly remember Sammy Jenkins story. And Lenny states that the he ruled the Sammy Jenkins a fraudulent case. Which makes me further inspect that he is faking his condition. Lenny manipulates the audience to feel bad for him.
In fact, throughout the entire film he always remembers which car the money is in. He also kills the only person, Teddy, who knew there is money in the car. And after the ends, who is the person still in Jimmy’s car? He’s one of the greatest villains because he manipulates the audience without their acknowledgeThis justified dishonesty by the multiple characters can be understood because they are pursuing their own self interest. Teddy is after the money; Natalie is using Lenny to kill Dodds.
However, what if Lenny, a stone cold killer, manipulates the audience to feel sympathy for him. His ultimate goal is to get Jimmy’s car which he does at the end. The reason Nolan’s films are so critically acclaimed is because each film can be in eyes of the beholder. And I feel, Lenny manipulates multiple people with the disorder to get the money, which his ultimate goal.