Leonard suffered from Anterograde amnesia; the loss of memory of what happens after the event that caused the amnesia, his wife’s murder (or more commonly short-term memory lost). This prevented him was holding memories after his wife’s rape/ murder in his brain for any longer than a short duration of time, until they are forgotten. Due to this reason he cannot maintain relationships, learn new things, and has no perception of time.
The two primary ways in which the story is told is through pictures taken by Leonard and tattoos on his body. Due to his inability to remember any new memories for long durations of time, he used mental cues written under his Polaroid pictures and “FACTS” tattooed on his body to retrace his steps. The effective measure of these cues is it makes the movie very unpredictable because new things/ events are always being revealed to Leonard through his mental cues he leaves for himself. However the ineffective aspects of such a story telling method is because the story is going in reverse chronological order it can be confusing at times to understand what is the context of the cues and how they relate to one another.
Perception is the process of acquiring information from the environment (through your senses) and organizing that information in a sensible way. Throughout the movies Leonard’s perception of the world around him is skewed beyond belief because of his inability to retain new memories. He is oblivious to time and can only function at instantaneous moments to judge and react to situations. Perception is the outcome of the brain’s organization of incoming stimuli, information, and interpretation of the events we are experiencing. But because of Leonard’s condition almost every situation will appear to be “new” to him. Therefore his perception of world and it according events would greatly differ from mine or yours.
Because the story is told in reverse chronological order, it makes it very difficult to follow. The man who Leonard kills in the beginning of the movie appears to be the man who killed his wife, however as more and more events are revealed to us, the situation becomes more apparent. The exploitation of Leonard by those around him for miscellaneous purposes is made clear and people who appear to be aiding Leonard, Natalie, were actually setting him up. This movie requires you to be very attentive because of how information is revealed and your brain much organize all this information through perception in order to understand the motives for what is transpiring.
After his brain injury, Leonard has no short term memory.
Yes, this movie is a fairly accurate representation of people living with Anterograde amnesia. Leonard has attempted to do the best that he can in order to live his life with some sort of accurate perception, but often failed because he lacks something so critical to human beings, memory. By simply not writing something down or taking a picture, events from his mind, important or not will vanish forever and he will be unable to every recall them. It is surprising that he has survived as long as he has without professional help, but his under dying motive to take revenge on his wife’s alleged murders over and over again could be the reason for that. He cannot form new memories and therefore his life has lost purpose, so Leonard is stuck is what many would describe as a “time capsule” avenging his wife over and over again.
I really don’t think I would be able to handle the condition that Leonard is suffering from. The only reason that Leonard is able process in such a manner is because he has a tremendously strong intention avenging his wife. Under, other circumstances I couldn’t see myself or Leonard being able to cope with the inability to remember anything at all, but then again I would be oblivious to everything I do forget. With the aid of someone I would be able to survive but my life would be so pointless and out of context with everything occurring around it that I would simply become a burden on whoever cares for me.