I’ve decided that I would “pull a Glenn” in this review and offer you a bit of my life in order to help you understand my views of this film. So, here is a piece of me: When I was about 8 years old my parents bought me a suitcase from at a garage sale. I knew just what to do with it. I’d keep my memories in it. As time passed I kept adding things to the suitcase, and soon I was unable to close it. Eventually, I had an entire closet of memories. Sometimes I’d go through the closet and look at the pieces of my life. Each item had a value to me and could take me back to a time or place with just a touch. Not all of the items gave me joy, but each one brought forth an emotion. They were mementos of who I was before. So, what is Lenny’s memento? It is his memories? No. Is it his need of purpose? Or, maybe it is weakness. “Don’t trust your weakness.” It is one of the tattoos on Lenny’s body. But he relies on weakness. Perhaps one of the reasons this film has such a cult following is based on the concept of overcoming weakness, not memory loss. Yes, I know that memory loss is a key factor of the film. But, I think that the loss of the memory is what empowers the feeling of weakness or helplessness. Lenny can’t change the fact that he is going to be afflicted with the loss. And, since he can’t seem to remember to make himself forget his wife, he makes finding her killer his purpose of life, his reason to live, Even if, he has to find her killer and get his revenge over and over again. Like Teddy says, there will always be a John G. By manipulating his affliction, he makes his weakness his power. And so do all of the other characters in the film. By writing down Teddy’s license plate and listing it as a “fact,” Lenny chooses to manipulate his affliction. We all need some sort of purpose. Lenny makes finding his wife’s murderer(s) his purpose. It makes me wonder whether the other tattooed facts are really facts, or just a way to strengthen his weakness.About ten years ago my husband died, and like Teddy, I became lost. I kept opening my memory closet so that I could stay in touch with what I’d had. But I became stuck and unsure what to do, so I did nothing. Then one day as was I going through the memories, I reached for a teapot that my husband had gotten from Berlin before the wall fell. It had never held tea. That made me sad to think of so I made some tea and shared it with my son. As we drank our tea my son asked “Why has the teapot been in the closet all this time, shouldn’t we be using it instead? Of, course we should have been using it. That’s when I discovered that the memory closet had become my weakness. It kept me stuck. I was afraid to make new memories.Without the ability to make new memories, Lenny became stuck too. I think at some point he had to have made a conscious decision to get out of his rut and move forward. But how could he move forward if he didn’t remember what he was moving away from? He created false facts that would bring up old memories create a sense of purpose.After tea I emptied the closet and started making new memories. An empty closet gave me a sense of purpose.
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