I wanted to write this explanation about Memento for the sole purpose of never seeing a complete understanding of it anywhere on the net. Obviously this read serves best right after watching the film, since I will analyze quote upon quote to sift through every single lie told by Teddy in the movie. If you were to research reviews from twelve years ago, you would be surprised how many considered understanding Memento in it’s entirety, as well as explaining it, as an impossible task.
Memento was the movie that motivated a friend of mine to go to film school. He studied to become a screenplay writer. Sadly, he died at a very young age due to an illness that he had suffered from for his whole life. I’ll always associate this film with him, and how driven yet cleverly pleasant he was as a individual. There was no one like him. If you wish to know more about Brock H. Brown and his many short films look up the film production company “Matter of Chance.” Many of these films won awards at small time film festivals in many different categories.
How do we understand Memento?
So, right into it, understanding Memento basically comes down to two questions. When is Teddy lying, and when isn’t he? Also, when is Leonard lying to himself as opposed to what is he forgetting? Leonard is not going to reveal what the truth is about who he now is, nor is he equipped to with his handicap. He’d rather live in the past and envision how he once was and he kind of has to live this way involuntarily. So almost all of Memento’s answers can be found through John Edward Gammell, “Teddy.” Before we examine the character who holds all of the cards, let’s take a moment to recall the storytelling style of the film.
Color fading out
Memento exists through Polaroids. As they develop, color eventually comes through. The storytelling of Memento is no different. Most people can tell you that this film is told backwards but what somtimes is forgotten is that all the black and white scenes are told forwards. Why is this? The answer is that Leonard would in fact rather remember his life backwards. Towards the end of Memento during the very key scene when our protagonist offs Jimmy Grants, the drug dealer, he takes a photo of his victim. As he is looking at the Polaroid developing, the screen itself flickers transitioning from black and white into color. This is our way of realizing that every colorless event takes place before all of the backwards storytelling. It’s also a way of differentiating a new mission, or a different “John G” for our vengeful pursuer to seek.
The significance of the Black and White Footage
All of the conversations on the phone are to Teddy. When Leonard looks at his tattoo, “never answer the phone,” somewhere down the line he did realize that this crooked cop was using him, so he wrote the reminder on his leg. All of this footage contains things that Leonard doesn’t want to remember. This previous inspector is very intelligent, so he really hates being made into a sucker.
The black and white events showcase details about a mission that Teddy devises and constructs. He creates a John G. for his own interests while all of the color scenes are where Leonard created his new John G for his personal reasons. You could also view this footage as Leonard’s subconsiousness trying to return to him. Leonard destroys his ability to discover the real truth about all the black and white events once he kills Teddy. He also rids his chances of discovering what the true meaning of “Remember Sammy Jenkis” is, since his memory of him is included in these scenes. Refer to the Remember Sammy Jenkis. Why? section of this article for a clearer understanding.
Renting 2 Hotel Rooms to Leonard Shelby
Teddy is staying in the second room right next to Leonard, and told the receptionist at the front desk not to tell his friend about paying for the 2nd room. He probably jokes and laughs about his condition with the employee all the time. Teddy is staying there for free at the expense of the vengeful detective.
The crooked cop could have taken the “Shave your leg” note when planting phony leads about Jimmy Grants being “John G.” He probably didn’t want Leonard to get the “never answer the phone” tattoo. Most likely though, Leonard just keeps forgetting which room is his and has even switched rooms with Teddy because of it. We know all of this because Teddy is most certainly the cop on the phone, as the film reveals towards the end, when he makes his final call and meets him in the lobby. Therefore, it’s also obviously him who slips the note “Pick up my call” under the door immediately after Leonard hangs up on him.
Ignore the stylized non linear structure, the events with Natalie, and Leonard’s self reflection. They are all distractions from the correct puzzle to solve. Focusing on how Sammy Jenkis and Teddy relates to the lost protagonist is how we find all answers. The main trickery of Memento is to show to you repeatedly that Teddy is a liar so that whatever he says can’t be trusted. The problem with this is that he’s the only character who definitely knows who Leonard really is. Not even Leonard knows. So when does he lie and when doesn’t he? Actually out of all the questions you could raise, the only one you really need to know is: When does Teddy have no reason to lie whatsoever? The best thing for us to consider is that even the largest liars still tell the truth most of the time, or they use the truth to their advantage. They only lie when they have a specific reason to. So it makes sense that Teddy will indeed tell the truth very often.
So all and all, I’ll make it very simple for you. Subtract all of the moments where Leonard catches his “friend” lying, and Teddy tells the truth 100% of the time. Not everything he says is a fabrication. In the whole film, there is no lie by the cop that goes without being caught by either him or at very least the audience. So anything that isn’t a lie, is true. Simple logic, right? If you think I’m making an assumption here, even Christopher Nolan himself swears that everything we need to understand all of Memento is right in the film. Therefore there is always a way to figure out when someone’s lying. If there isn’t, it must be the truth.
Everyone in the film lies about themselves including our “hero.” Teddy’s no different. He lies about himself constantly, but he always tells the truth when he’s talking about Leonard’s past. He has no reason to lie about that. Leonard won’t remember anyway, and it perplexes him that he doesn’t. He even deliberately tries to jog his memory out of disbelief. In fact, Teddy’s reason for telling the truth about his lost friend is to remind Leonard that even he himself is a liar too. He feels that they both can be friends since they’re not so different. However, Teddy manipulates others, and Leonard only manipulates his own actions.
The thing that should clue you in that Teddy tells the truth and often, is that whenever he lies and Leonard smells something odd, sometimes he fesses up immediately. He comes clean. It’s kind of hilarious. The way to smell a lie out though is to know the motivations for it. There are basically only 2 motivations for this cop to lie and they are the same motives he has even when he tells the truth. Only the first is a secret kept from Leonard.
The first motive is to use “Memory man” for murder, so that he can make lots of money while no crime ever comes back to him. Although this is truly double crossing it’s the only lie in which Teddy profits from. His other motivation may contribute to this cause. He also wouldn’t mind using Leonard again to make more money. Leonard is valuable to him and keeps him from being discovered as the mastermind behind his operations. He’s his shield from drug dealers, Natalie, and even cops since Teddy is a crooked one.
The second motivation is that Teddy is always aware of Lenny’s memory loss condition, and it doesn’t even matter what he says to him should it not be written down. He tells these kinds of lies constantly. They aren’t well thought out, but are used just to buy him time until Leonard forgets again. It makes no difference to him whether he tells a little white lie or the brutal truth, because it’s all wasted breath. Teddy is a patient man but no doubt he’s in the habit of hurrying up his friend’s memory through any means. He’ll also tell the truth to get him out of a situation where he has been caught lying. We’ll now look into every one of Teddy’s lies and told truths. I will refer to the above motivations while doing so as Motivation 1 and 2.
Truths and Lies: Teddy’s Manipulation
I do not expect all readers to be interested in this part of my explanation, unless they literally just watched the film. This may seem tedious to you, but if you really want to understand everything about Memento we have to sort the lies from the truth. If you are only interested in an explanation of the film’s main concept skip down to the last part of this section: The abandoned building. I’m also in the interest of giving people an explanation that answers every single major detail they might have come up with about the film. To my knowledge, I have never seen such a document. In this section, I identify all of Teddy’s lies, but more importantly where he is telling the truth.
Lie: All of the black and white footage can be viewed as one gigantic lie. It’s mostly about Teddy misleading Leonard to the murder of Jimmy Grants. It’s his first motivation. He never has a need to make smaller white lies here though, since all he has to do is hang up the phone and call back a little later. In person he can’t stop the conversation so that’s when he resorts to his 2nd motivation for lying. The footage containing Sammy Jenkis however isn’t quite all a lie however, at least not by Teddy. We’ll look into that later.
Lie: Teddy’s first lie is that the blue truck at the abandoned building has been there for years. Motivation 1 and 2
Truth: Teddy says to Leonard: “You don’t know who you are.”
Leonard: “I’m Leonard Shelby. I’m from San Fancisco.”
Teddy: “That’s who you were. That’s not what you’ve become.”
His motivation for telling the truth is that he has a gun pointed at his head and he’s not the real John G. He consistently says this dialog 3 times in the film as opposed to other things he changes at the drop of a hat.
Truth: Teddy tells Leonard, ” Lenny, you can’t trust a man’s life to your little notes and pictures. …because your notes could be unreliable.” Even though this is the truth, Teddy knows this because of Motivation 1. He knows that Jimmy Grants has been killed due to his own deliberate deception. Leonard unwisely disregards his friend’s suggestion and doesn’t contemplate that Teddy knows a lot more about the subject.
Dodd’s Hotel Room
Truth (a hint): Teddy says: “You know I’ve had more rewarding friendships than this one, although I do get to tell the same jokes.” This clues us in on how the cop has his own interests at heart, but it also shows us that he’s willing to help Leonard to get what he wants.
Lie: Teddy also says when looking at Lenny’s photos, “Natalie? Who’s Natalie?”
Teddy: “Maybe I know her.”
He definitely does as he talks about her later in the film (or earlier in time). Motivation 1 and 2
Lie: Teddy also says, “A gun? Why would I have a gun?” He may or may not have a gun at the moment. He is a cop though. Motivation 2.
Inside the Jaguar
Truth: When speaking of Natalie Teddy says: “Make a note. You can’t trust her… because by now she’s taken a look at this suit and the car, and she’s starting to figure out ways of turning the situation to her advantage. She’s already got you staying with her for Christ’s sake. You can’t go back in there. The broad is bad news. She’s involved with drugs. You see these (Ferby’s Bar cup coasters)? This is the bar where she works. Her boyfriend’s a drug dealer. She takes orders from him, arranges meets. He writes messages on the back of these. Then she slips him the answers when she serves him his drinks.” Motivation 1 However, there is absolutely no way for us to know how Teddy knows the method in which Jimmy Grants arranges meets with Natalie. It could be the truth, it could be a lie. More importantly finding out doesn’t tell us any valuable information and it’s irrelevant. What’s most definitely the truth though is that Natilie cannot be trusted.
Leonard: “Why should I care?”
Truth: Teddy: “Because when she gets jammed up, she’s gonna use you to protect herself.”
Leonard: “From who?”
Truth: Teddy: “Guys are gonna wanna know what happened to her boyfriend. Guys are gonna come after her. Somebody’s gotta pay, Lenny. Somebody always pays. Maybe she’ll make it you.” Motivation 1. This is equally truthful as it is deceptive. Teddy is likely the person who should really pay.
Leonard: “Oh, yeah? Well, maybe she’ll make it you. Is that it? You worried that she’s gonna use me against you?”
Lie: Teddy: “No… (as he’s concentrating) …because she doesn’t know who I am.” Natalie does indeed know the name Teddy as she speaks of him later in the film (or earlier in time). Leonard isn’t entirely right, but he’s not wrong either. Motivation 1.
Truth: Teddy says: So write this down. When she offers to help, it’ll be for her own reasons. I’m not lying. Take my pen. Write this down. Do not trust her.” It’s ironic that he’s not lying. Anytime you say you aren’t lying, it often leads people to believe that you are. It’s funny that he says he’s not lying, because it suggests that he lies about other things. Motivation 1.
He also mentions that he won’t be happy until Leonard is out of town. This is because both Teddy and Leonard are linked to the murder of Jimmy Grants. Motivation 1
Truth: Teddy: “How did you get this suit, the car? You have no clue, do you? You don’t even know who you are.”
Leonard: “I don’t have amnesia. I remember everything right up until the incident. I am Leonard Shelby. I am from San Francisco–”
Truth: Teddy: “That’s who you were. You do not know who you are, what you’ve become since… the incident. You wander around playing detective. You don’t even know how long ago it was. Let me put it this way. Were you wearing designer suits when you sold insurance?”
Leonard: “I didn’t sell insurance. I investigated it.
Teddy: “Right… You’re an investigator. Well, maybe you should start investigating yourself.” Motivation 1 and 2
The Tattoo Parlor
Teddy misses the detail that costs him his life here. He doesn’t even notice that Leonard is getting a tattoo of his very own license plate. Teddy is too busy spewing nothing but lies here.
Lie: Teddy says to Leonard: “There’s a bad cop. He’s the one who checked you into the Discount Inn. He’s been calling you for days, telling you lies, slipping envelopes under your door.”
Leonard: “How do you know this?”
Lie: Teddy: “He told me. He thinks it’s funny. He’s been laughing at you. He knows you’re no good on the phone, so he’s been calling you up. Sometimes you don’t answer the phone so he slips stuff under your door to scare you into answering the phone again, giving you a line of crap about John G. being some local drug dealer, Jimmy Grants… Jimmy Grant’s the drug dealer. The cop wants to know how his operation’s run. He’s got some score in mind. Somehow you’re involved.”
Leonard: “Uh huh. How do you know him?”
Lie: Teddy: “I’m a snitch. He’s a cop from out of town. The local boys put us together. If he knew I was helping you, he’d kill me.” Motivation 1 and 2. As we all know, the only cop there is here that Teddy speaks of is him himself.
The Discount Inn Parking Lot
We see the blue truck here and it belongs to Leonard (though it’s in black and white).
Lie: Teddy says about his Polaroid of himself: “You know, don’t write Gammel, just Teddy. … I’m undercover.” Motivation 1. Teddy is not fond of possibly being hunted down by our self deceptive killer. Perhaps he is undercover from Jimmy Grants, but he’s using the truth to hide his real concerns.
Leonard: “You’re not coming?”
Teddy: “No, it wouldn’t be appropriate.” …Right Teddy… right.
The Abandoned Building
Here is the most revealing scene after Leonard kills Jimmy Grants. It contains the most truths told by Teddy. It takes him a lot of lies to switch gears though.
Lie: Teddy lies about not knowing Leonard personally at first (motivation 2).
Leonard: “So you are a cop.”
Lie: Teddy: “Yeah. I’m also the guy who helped you find him. …His name is James F. Grants. John G. Check your tattoos.” (Teddy’s the guy who mislead Leonard to find him) Motivation 1
Leonard: What was he bringing the two hundred grand for?
Lie: Teddy: “…What!?” Motivation 1 and 2
Leonard: “What was it for?” (as he slams his friend against the wall)
Truth: Teddy: “A load of amphetamines I told him I had.”
Leonard: “Was this a drug deal?”
Lie: Teddy: “No. Yeah, that, and your thing. Look, Leonard, Jimmy’s your guy. I just figured we’d make a few dollars on the side.” Motivation 1 and 2. It’s funny how careless he is with this lie. He’s waiting for him to just forget.
Leonard: “How did he know me?”
Lie: Teddy: “The Discount Inn. He dealt out of there. The guy at the front desk let him know if anybody came snooping around (as he smiles). He called Jimmy the minute he saw you taking a picture of the dump.” Motivation 1 and 2. Why would Teddy encourage Leonard to stay at the hotel out of town if the guy they murdered had connections to it? He also tries to get Leonard out of town later on. Teddy even stays at the discount inn himself.
Leonard: “You’re using me.”
Lie: Teddy: “No! (almost laughing) You get half!” Motivation 1 and 2
Leonard: “He knew about Sammy! Why would I tell him about Sammy?”
Truth: Teddy: “You tell everybody about Sammy, everybody who’ll listen. Remember Sammy Jenkis? Great story. It gets better every time you tell it. So you lie to yourself to be happy. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all do it. Who cares if there’s a few little details you’d rather not remember?” Motivation 1 and 2
Leonard: “What are you talking about?”
Truth: Teddy: “I don’t know… Your wife’s surviving the assault. Her not believing your condition. The torment and pain and anguish tearing her up inside. The insulin.
Leonard: “That’s Sammy, not me. I told you about Sammy.”
Truth: Teddy: “Yeah, right. Like you tell yourself over and over again, conditioning yourself to remember, learning through repetition.”
Leonard: “Sammy let his wife kill herself. Sammy ended up in an institution.”
Truth: Teddy: “Sammy was a con man, a faker.”
Leonard: “I never said Sammy was faking.”
Truth: Teddy: “You exposed him for what he was, a fraud.”
Leonard: “But I was wrong. That was the whole point. See? Sammy’s wife came to me.”
Truth: Teddy: “Sammy didn’t have a wife. It was your wife who had diabetes. …Well I guess I can only make you remember the things you wanna be true… like old Jimmy down there.”
Teddy is correct here. The fact that Leonard isn’t sure makes it obvious that he doesn’t know the truth about his wife. You could make the argument that Teddy is just buying time for Leonard to forget this conversation. However, nowhere else in the film can we prove that Teddy is lying here. We also know that many times throughout Memento Teddy deliberately tries to jog Leonard’s memory. This is because he still can’t believe that Leonard just can’t be taught to remember. Teddy doesn’t have a motivation to lie here. Furthermore, none of his lies were working so he switches gears to buy a little time. However, although that may have been Teddy’s initial motivation, it’s quickly replaced by his fascination with Leonard’s condition next.
Leonard: “He’s not the right guy.”
Truth: Teddy: “He was to you. Come on. You got your revenge. Enjoy it while you still remember. What difference does it make whether he was your guy or not? You’re never gonna know. You won’t remember!”
Leonard: “When it’s done, I will know. It’ll be different.”
Truth: Teddy: “Well, I thought so too. In fact, I was sure of it, but you didn’t! …That’s right, the real John G. I helped you find him over a year ago. He’s already dead.
Leonard: “Don’t lie to me anymore.”
Truth: Teddy: I was the cop assigned to your wife’s case. I believed you. I thought you deserved a chance for revenge. I’m the one that helped you find the other guy in your bathroom that night, the guy that cracked your skull and raped your wife. We found him. You killed him, but you didn’t remember. So I helped you start looking again, looking for the guy you already killed.”
Leonard: “Oh yeah. So who was he?”
Truth: Teddy: “Just some guy. I mean does it even matter who? No reason, Lenny. No conspiracy. Just bad luck. Couple of junkies too strung out to realize your wife didn’t live alone… but when you killed him, I was so convinced that you’d remember. But it didn’t stick, like nothing ever sticks… like this won’t stick. …I gave you a reason to live and you were more than happy to help. You don’t want the truth. You make up your own truth, like your police file. It was complete when I gave it to you. Who took out the 12 pages? See, it was you.”
Leonard: “Why would I do that?”
Truth: Teddy: “To create a puzzle you could never solve. Do you know how many towns, how many John G’s or James G’s there are? Even I’m a John G. Cheer up. There’s plenty of John G’s for us to find. All you do is moan. I’m the one who has to live with what you’ve done. I’m the one who put it all together. You, you wander around, you’re playing detective. You live in a dream, kid; A dead wife to pine for; A sense of purpose to your life; A romantic quest that you wouldn’t end even if I wasn’t in the picture.”
Leonard at this point considers killing Teddy. This should definitely clue us in how our vengeful friend isn’t entirely reasonable and really doesn’t want to know the truth about himself as Teddy points out.
“You’re not a killer. That’s why you’re so good at it.”
Leonard does something drastic. He resolves to kill Teddy since he doesn’t want to remember killing Jimmy Grants or that he’s been completely had. Nor does he want to be used by Teddy in another aimless quest over and over again. He copy’s down Teddy’s license plate number to be tattooed on his leg even though he is certainly not the John G that killed his wife.
Some of Leonard’s last thoughts are, “I’m not a killer. I’m just someone who wanted to make things right. Can I just let myself forget what you’ve told me? Can I just forget what you made me do …You think I just want another puzzle to solve? Another John G. to look for? Your a John G, so you can be my John G. Do I lie to myself to be happy? In your case Teddy, yes, I will.” Leonard is the sort of person who doesn’t take lightly to the thought of his actions being meaningless.
Remember Sammy Jenkis. Why?
Sammy Jenkis is not who he seems to be. He is presented to us entirely through Leonard’s memories. Teddy speaks the truth about Sammy. He was exposed as a fraud and somewhere down the line Leonard envisioned the things he didn’t want to remember about his own life as Sammy’s problems. This is the real meaning of “Remember Sammy Jenkis,” so that Leonard doesn’t have to remember the truth that he regrets about himself. Sammy didn’t kill his wife with insulin. He never had a wife. Leonard’s wife survived the incident and couldn’t deal with her mate’s memory loss. She was the one who went into a coma with insulin by Leonard’s own doing (I might add on a irrelevant but interesting note: that this is the only major mistake that this film actually makes. My uncle is a diabetic and it’s a misconception that too much insulin will cause a coma).
So there are in actuality two Sammy Jenkis characters. We barely know the one in the flesh from Leonard’s past. What we mostly see is the misconstrued version of Sammy, who is in fact, Leonard. A real life person becomes a more comfortable fabrication. It’s his preferable way to remember the older gentleman, or to be exact his way of hiding what he doesn’t like about himself.
How do we know all this? Well, Teddy flat out tell us. Also, there’s a scene during Leonard’s recollections of Sammy sitting in a mental institution that provides an obviously strong hint. When a staff member passes Sammy, once they’ve gone by for a split second we see Leonard in his place. Most people catch this. This is Leonard’s memories we’re seeing here. Also, while on the phone with Teddy, he mentions how Sammy was disorganized with all his notes and that he made mistakes. He had no drive to make it all work. What exactly does Sammy have to make what all work? Sammy is never seen in the memories taking notes, but according to Leonard he does.
One thing may throw a viewer off during Leonard and Teddy’s exchange. Leonard quickly envisions his wife as a diabetic taking a shot of insulin, and then he imagines himself pinching her leg immediately. He denies that she was a diabetic to which Teddy confronts him with, “Are you sure?” The fact that he envisions both should make it obvious that his mind is creative enough to deny himself the truth. Logically, he would only have one correct vision or none at all if she wasn’t diabetic. It’s way too suspicious that Leonard is able to have 2 visions. Leonard’s character can’t be trusted anymore than Teddy’s.
Leonard’s dialog hints
Since we’ve analyzed Teddy’s lines so much to decipher lies, why not look at Leonard’s in the light of the final plot twist? Ah yes, hidden foreshadowing in a film is a pleasure to see from a different perspective the second time around.
Don’t believe his lies. He’s the one. Kill him.
“I finally found him. How long have I been looking?”
“How am I suppose to heal, if I can’t feel time?”
“I can’t remember to forget you.”
Deception & manipulation, a magician’s tools
While you could say that Memento is about a man who can’t make new memories, and is trying to avenge his wife’s death, that is only the film’s starting point. Memento’s consistent main theme afterwards is deception; that of Natalie’s, that of Teddy’s, and the self-deception of Leonard. To be more precise, manipulation is probably even a better fit. Even the film itself is a manipulative act on your perception.
I got to say that Christopher Nolan pretty much reveals his objective for filmmaking in “The Prestige.” He is interested in wowing the audience. The man is very much a magician. He employs deception and manipulation into every single one of his films. I would most certainly say that each movie is basically a magician’s trick and uses plot twists with the same exact focus. I as a result, feel that most of his movies do not in actually contain the substancial depth that they attempt to portray, but are more or less neat tricks. People don’t go to his movies to learn about the meaning of life, or for intensive character development. They go to be fooled just as the Prestige suggests. While I don’t love his other films besides maybe Following, Memento to me is essentially Nolan’s most valuable trick. It’s a very clever one that I’m fond of; one that I most likely couldn’t have come up with.
What lies are more admirable?
One thing that I did enjoy about Memento was considering which form of manipulation was more immoral; Teddy and Natlie’s manipulation of others, or Leonard’s manipulation of himself? While it may seem obvious that Natilie and Teddy are more wicked than Leonard Shelby, we have to be reminded that we are being told this story through the forgetful detective’s perspective. We are biased in routing for him. We don’t even know how Memory man’s deceivers developed their selfish tendencies. It is quite possible that both Natilie and John Gammel once had very admirable intentions before their self serving scheming. There’s no way to know.
Teddy uses Leonard to kill drug dealers and make money on the side, while Leonard essentially chooses to kill Teddy because he doesn’t like him. Well, controlling other people’s lives usually doesn’t go over too well. However, for any of us to deduce that Teddy deserved to die, we would then have to believe in impulsively killing dishonest politicians with our bare hands rather than throwing them in jail.
Teddy and Natalie are dispicable people. The point is that Leonard’s actions are no better than his manipulator’s, if not worse. Leonard still had signs of a working conscience. Natilie and Teddy didn’t, although they were certainly responsible for getting to their currently debased state. In other words, Memento is the story about how Leonard Shelby eventually becomes almost exactly like John Edward Gammell, Teddy. How fun it is to blur the line between good and evil. I don’t believe that there is a line or obvious categories actually. Memento certainly says something about whether our good intentions really even matter if their results are so far from them. This point is much better expressed here than it is in his later Batman movies.
I am no longer your personal detective
I hope you’ve enjoyed my nonsensical analyzing of Memento. I watched this film a third time to get all of the quotes right, though I left out some irrelevant lines in between. Frankly, I’m not sure how many of you will enjoy being taken through each line of dialog. I’ve served as a commentator long enough. Well, if anyone says that Memento is impossible to explain, you can tell them with confidence that it most certainly isn’t. It just takes time, patience, a little attention to detail, as well as getting used to following a story backwards and forwards simultaneously.