Memento is a unique film even by American standards. It is probably one of the best movies I have seen in recent times. The story is told in a fashion never before ( okay..its been tried once in Seinfeld and once in an older movie) tried in Hollywood cinema. Chris Noolan (Director of Batman Begins, Insomnia) handles a very strange and challenging script with competence. Memento is a exhausting narration of a man caught in a infinite loop. He executes tasks 1 through N and starts once again at task 1 and goes on forever. He does not know he is in an infinite loop. The movie goes from a "good movie" to a "wow! blow me down" levels because of the way the director chooses to present the movie to the audience. This narrative style of telling the story in reverse order is not merely a trick to do something new. There is a motive behind telling the story this way. I won't tell the story (because really I can't .. even if I try hard). But will try and probably give a gist of it to try and bring out the way Noolan and his script writers have handled the story presentation.
The color sequences of the movie go backward in time i.e task N is shown first and then task N-1 is shown and so on.. The black and white sequences are shown forward in time. The key is you do not know whether the BW sequences happen before in time to the color sequences or vice versa. The BW and color sequences are interspersed cleverly to make the movie pretty exhausting (but very interesting) to watch. The intention here is to develop the same limitations ( handicap is a strong word here) in the audience's mind that the central character of the movie suffers from. The man going through the infinite loop has met with an accident and has poor recollection of events after the accident. He suffers from what is called as "short-term memory" affliction. In this situation he remembers everything that happened to him prior to the accident but cannot remember anything after that for more than 15 minutes. He has to execute all tasks he is "meant to do" in the 15 minute quantum and then stores important aspects (by writing it down etc) of his memory before he forgets it. So that when he forgets everything related to that 15 minutes and begins on a new 15 minute quantum, he can see his papers and know what to do.
Because of the way the story is presented -- the 15 minute packets told in reverse order -- and because a black and white sequence is placed inbetween two 15 minute sequences -- you as the viewer lose track of what happened in the previous 15 minutes. If you want to hold on to the story track you have to rely on the hero's technics to remember stuff. So in effect you have his disease. Cool isn't it? So now do you get the point of telling the story this way? This is just a gist of the movie. The style and class with which the movie is presented is in a league of its own. I am not sure if Gajini's screenplay will handle the story in the same fashion as Memento's script did. Memento was too heavy for American audience. Gajini wont even register a blip if it goes the Memento way. With Asin and Nayanthra it does appear that Gajini will tell the story linearly. Btw does Gajini mean the Mohd. Gajini who tried to invade India 17 times? The movie will tell us, I am sure.
Surya has become my favorite hero over the years. I rank him among the best heros in the curent era. While so many people have been talking about being the next Kamala Hassan, by choosing movies like Gajini and going the off-beat path -- Surya is doing it.