Go See Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Focus
I have waited some time to see the Jim Carrey brainf*@k
called Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Finally I have seen
the film that I have heard so much about. As I sat down to watch the Carrey
flick I was introduced to an introductory ten minutes that made me question
the quality of the film. However, after you pass this ten-minute movie scenario
[a scenario explained later], the film takes you off and keeps slamming
your brain and your imagination. Eternal Sunshine draws in elements
of Vanilla Sky, Memento, and Clockwork Orange
to deliver a film that I can only say 'blows your mind.'
When Joel begins to mix memories is where Carrey shows what an actor he
The Idea of Eternal Sunshine
The trailers for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind do nothing
to explain what is happening in the film. All the previews convey is that
this film is some how going to mess with your head while making you say
'cooooool' along the way. So, without giving much away, let me tell you
what this story is really about...
Joel Barish [Carrey] goes to visit his love and girlfriend, Clementine [Kate
Winslet], after a major fight. Joel goes to Clementine's work to find that
she looks upon him as a stranger and is actually kissing another man right
in front of him. 'How can this be' asks Joel with confusion of how he could
have so quickly lost the love of his life. Joel's friend quickly tips him
in on what has happened.
There is a doctor that has figured out a way to erase certain memories,
such as those of a loved one. Joel figures out that, in an act of rage from
their fight, Clementine has had all her memories of Joel erased. Joel figures
he cannot go on without Clementine and realizes that he must also have his
memories of her erased as well. This leads to a cool story about how the
doctor erases memories and the steps a person must take to ensure that they
never have any deja vu situations that may cause an erased memory to surface.
The erasing of Joel's memories is what most of Eternal Sunshine is about.
During the procedure, Joel [who is unconscious] can hear the voices of those
who are 'working' on him. The voices discuss the proceedings and how they
are erasing his memories of his lost love. This is where the major problem
arises; Joel has doubts and decides he does want to save his memories of
Clementine. But how can he alert the crew that is working on him while he
Always remember to pay your mortgage.
Joel's only solution is to run through his memories and take a memory of
Clementine to another memory that the 'doctors' wouldn't think to look in.
You following me here? The doctors know all about each memory Joel has with
Clementine, but they don't know all his memories. Joel figures that if he
can take a memory of Clementine and associate it with a memory such as him
getting embarrassed as a kid, he may just be able to retain some knowledge
of Clementine and his relationship with her.
Hence begins a race where Joel runs through his memories while they are
being deleted. This is where a major portion of the magic for this film
comes from. The cinematography is outstanding as you see minor details on-screen
slowly blur out as the 'doctors' erase them. The scene shifts are so well
crafted that I was extremely appreciative of each one. They are not typical
scene changes either, but a continuous shot where Joel jumps from one
scene [memory] to another.
For Joel to have any chancing of re-uniting with his love, he must retain one memory.
What to Love in Eternal Sunshine
As stated above, the cinematography is amazing in Eternal Sunshine of
the Spotless Mind. An example scene involves a memory with Joel and
Clementine in a house. Joel realizes that he cannot save this one memory
and decides to just play it out with Clementine to enjoy the last few second
of it. However, while the scene continues you see the house begin to break
away, lose details, and slowly disappear. This works as amazing imagery
to Joel 'forgetting' about that memory in that house. Truly amazing stuff.
features a wonderful cast that includes Tom Wilkinson,
Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, David Cross, Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, and
Another cool aspect was the idea that love continues on, even after memory
deletion. There are a few cases in Eternal Sunshine where we witness
that love, in a deja-vu or crush manner, continues on in the people that
have their memories erased. I like this idea and appreciated the purposeful
attempts by Michel Gondry [director] to play this aspect out.
To be honest, there are a lot of things to like, including the small things
such as the twists and what I can only call 'radical' scenes that are presented
on the screen. For me to give away any more information on the film would
be considered SPOILERS. And, for this film,
it is better to just go see it.
Final Judgment: If you want a unique, interesting, cool, fun, focused,
and straight up different film, Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless
Mind is the ultimate answer. This film applies radical ideas and
cinematography with what can be called the latest/newest idea of a love
story. In the end you will smile and be glad you watched this film. Unless
of course you were the girls that watched it with me who didn't appreciate
it that much...
Sources: Images property of Focus
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