Nonlinear Narrative Structure in Film: a Case Study of Memento (Directed by Christopher Nolan)



Moghal, Mirza Omar Beg (2021) Nonlinear Narrative Structure in Film: a Case Study of Memento (Directed by Christopher Nolan). Final Year Project (Bachelor), Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.

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The film, Memento (2000) directed by Christopher Nolan is popular for being presented in reverse chronological order. Due to this, a lot of the narrative or plot elements that we would try to understand about the film through normal means of viewing would make it difficult to understand. Therefore, this research analyzes Memento (2000) by viewing it in chronological order and finds the points in its narrative structure that differ from the original Christopher Nolan cut. The Christopher Nolan cut and a fan-made chronological cut were the samples of this research. A comparison table was created to pinpoint the narrative structure elements which are the exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution to find the similarities and differences between the two versions by the method of content analysis. This analysis found some similarities but a greater amount of differences. The similarity in the overall message in the Nolan cut and the Chronological cut of Memento (2000) is that the Character of Leonard Shelby is comfortable in living a fake reality as long as he believes it to be true. However, the difference in the overall message between the two versions is that the character of Leonard Shelby is a victim of his own condition which hinders him from achieving his revenge goal and in the end he orchestrates faulty memories to hide from the truth in the Nolan cut. In the chronological cut, he is a delusional person who needs to keep filling himself with fake memories to have a purpose to live for and to keep achieving his goal because he can’t remember ever achieving it. This research concludes that the chronology of a film impacts the narrative structure and message of a film.

Item Type: Final Year Project
Subjects: Language and Literature > Literature (General) > Broadcasting
Language and Literature > Literature (General) > Motion Pictures
Faculties: Faculty of Communication and Creative Industries > Bachelor of Communication (Honours) in Broadcasting
Depositing User: Library Staff
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2021 09:20
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2021 09:20