How a Non-Linear Timeline Propelled the Plot of ‘Memento’ With Questions Rather Than Answers

Filmmaker Michael Tucker of Lessons from the Screenplay created another one of his fascinating video essays. This particular essay looks at the non-linear timeline that director Christopher Nolan employed throughout his 2000 film Memento, which interspersed both chronological (black and white) and reverse-chronological (color) scenes throughout the film and propelled the plot forward with questions rather than answers.

Christopher Nolan had to craft the color scenes so that when watched in reverse chronological order they remained engaging and led up to a satisfying conclusion. Meanwhile, the black and white scenes have to provide necessary exposition and lead up to the beginning of the color scenes. So essentially, the climax of the film happens in the middle of the story. The fact that the film makes as much sense as it does is a very impressive feat.