The compelling story begins when emotionally reserved Joel is headed to work in New York City one morning when he feels an incomprehensible compulsion to call off from his job and get on a train to Montauk, Long Island. On the train, he strikes up a conversation with Clementine (or rather, she sparks up a conversation with him), a free spirit whose hair changes colors with her mood. Despite radically different personalities, they are attracted to each other and agree to a date. What they do not realize, and what friends soon reveal, is that Joel and Clementine are in fact former lovers, but both had their memories of one another erased following a nasty break-up.
Weeks prior, Joel and Clementine end their two-year relationship on a bad note, and Clementine hires a local firm — Lacuna, Inc. — to erase all her memories of Joel. Upon discovering this, Joel is devastated. Believing it is unfair that Clementine was able to so easily get such a procedure done, Joel wants the same procedure as Clementine, and meets with Lacuna’s top technician (an old man – Dr. Howard). As the procedure transpires, Joel, in his mind, begins reliving his memories with Clementine, starting with the most recent (the bad break-up) but he soon sees pleasant earlier times. Realizing he still has love for her and that he treasures their memories together, he regrets his decision to hire Lacuna and wishes to call the procedure off, but cannot (a...
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... Even if there were such a thing, it would definitely not be such a blessing to have. Memories are such a precious gift; we should strive to be content with every aspect, every memory, every moment, every single breath in our lives. Memories, even the ones we wish we could erase, contribute to who we are as people; we need to accept that fact peacefully and not try to change it. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, although it does contain a bit of romance, is not a love story by any means. It is a story about regret and ignorance playing hand-in-hand. It gives amazing philosophical insight about what it means to have a past, and what it means to be alive. It truly gets the mind’s gears grinding. After watching the movie, or perhaps simply even after reading this, ask yourself – would you be frightened or thrilled to relieve every moment you have ever experienced?
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