A Memento of Ghajini

MEMENTO- Starring Guy Pearce, Joe Pantoliano, Carrie-Anne Moss
GHAJINI-Starring Aamir Khan, Asin, Jiah Khan

When I saw Ghajini, I found its plot with more holes than Bush's Iraq invasion plan. Then I applied the action movie standard to it, and the story started to seem plausible. The movie is about a man suffering from short-term memory loss, who is out to avenge the murder of his girlfriend. In an industry where total amnesia is the norm, short-term memory loss is a new concept and handled quite ok, but the director seems to have clubbed anterograde amnesia with retrograde amnesia. I liked the climactic scene where Aamir has killed Ghajini's henchmen, but then his 15-minute window closes and he forgets why he us there, curiously walking up to Ghajini, who is hiding from him. The love story with Aamir and Asin is fresh. Aamir's acting and his howls seemed a little demented, Jiah Khan was shrill, and the villain a caricature, even by Bollywood standards. Elements of the movie which stand out (not always in a good way): Aamir's killing machine act, his pointy ears, a fully-clothed Jiah Khan, the Behka song. I have just one thing to say: DON'T compare it with Memento. Ghajini is a regular Bollywood action-packed masala, it's just a couple of ingredients that differ.

Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan, is unconventional. It is difficult to grasp at first viewing as it doesn't follow a linear narrative. Guy Pearce plays a cop affected by short-term memory developed after being hit on the head when his wife was attacked, and maintains a system of Polaroids and tattoos to record information and catch the supposed killer. This is where similarities with Ghajini end. Pearce's 15-minute memories are depicted in reverse chronological order in colour, while black-and-white scenes follow forward narrative. Both narratives alternate, and mesh in the climax as a single color scene. I liked how Sammy's story tied in with the cop's life, and how Pearce planned his revenge. Memento is a puzzle which the viewer has to solve, and the unravelling of the puzzle is riveting.

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