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Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind, a movie that confuses yet entertains, with action, comedy, and most importantly the value of love. At times I became confounded between what was happening in the movie and what significance it had. Although it was amusing trying to figure out why I had to understand certain parts, it was also frustrating when I realized what I thought was important was really irrelevant.
Comedy, another feature in this film was used very lightly; I felt as if it was there simply to keep the dull parts entertaining, and help clarify the confusing ones, on the contrary it complicated matters and it still lacked relevance. If I were to use one word to describe the movie in general it would be awkward, not only because it leaves you with so many questions but also because it refuses to give each scene an explanation.
Love, was one of the many few reasons I was amused by the film. I felt the devotion that took place between both main characters was powerful, intense and entertaining. It was the adventure between the couple that had me watching and wanting more. I feel that the couple was atypical and they both had completely opposite personalities, it was interesting to see how they would get along with each other and it was surprising to see how quickly they fell in love.
Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind was a very divert movie, yet it lacked so much. I feel as if it gave too much in certain scenes, and those same features lacked in others. Although the adventures kept me in interest, what was I to do about the parts that didn’t have action, I was left puzzled. This film was overall interesting, yet it still left me wanting more. More action, more answers, and more reality.
The movie begins with Joel Barish (Jim Carrey), a man who seems lonely, lost, and distant in life from the start. He gets on a train and meets a dysfunctional outspoken female (Kate Winslet) who later introduces herself as Clementine Kruczynski, the two instantly strike up a conversation. This leaves viewers like me confused about what exactly is going on and if the conversation that is taking place between both main characters is necessary. Yet what I did realize was the connection that they had with one another, it was as if they were meant for each other despite their physical, mental, and emotional differences.
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After an intense argument with words that weren’t meant to be said, Clementine decided that she would go to a psychiatric firm in which she would erase any memory of the relationship she once had with Joel Barish. Unbeknown to the viewers or Joel Barish himself Clementine completely forgets about Joel and moved on with another boyfriend. This is one of the many parts that left me questioning, who is this new boyfriend she’s with? When did she get the process done? What was the argument about? And why didn’t Joel know?
Joel finally finds out what Clementine did to forget about him, he then proceeds to go to the same firm she did to ask about her and later on ask for the same amnesia treatment she had. The scenes change so quickly that one has to assume that he went back and that he wants the treatment. One thing leads to another and he’s inside his memory, where the majority of the movie takes place. This is very confusing and perplex, as the scenes bounce from his memory, to the doctors, and to the problems that he had with Clementine. As his memory erases slowly but surely Joel realizes that he does want to be with Clementine and that unfortunately he can’t stop the procedure. Action played a key role in this film, especially during Joel’s fight to stop the erasing memories and wake up. At times I found this part interesting but then again I couldn’t figure out how Clementine was able to tell him what to do in a “memory”.
I know only but so much in this movie and it was at the end that my questions were answered. It made no sense to tell a story from the end, have me confused and then explain only a small portion of what was going on. I think that because it was a science fiction movie it probably complicated matters more than the story itself. The ending seemed pointless and I felt that the director got lazy towards the conclusion, and for that reason it gave me such mixed and confused feelings.
What caught my eye the most was the camera positions. The camera seemed wobbly and unprofessional. The lighting when I was watching the memories of Joel Barish was horrible, there were parts where I found it difficult to make out what I was looking at which then distracted me from what I was really supposed to be paying attention to. In the movie there was a scene where Joel and Clementine were running away from the memories being erased, a mere spot light on the couple was used to see them running and speaking, and through that I was supposed to assume that they were going to a new memory and running away from the things that Joel did with Clementine. The scenes would jump back and forth, with the camera that wouldn’t stay still. Throughout all his memories I had to play detective and figure out that he had to go places where they couldn’t find him and Clementine. I later on realized it was for no use because the procedure kept on and he eventually ran out of memories of her. Finally when the couple gives up on running away everything becomes a blur for me, they speak of the last argument they had and he tells her what she said and she apologizes. The setting is absolutely ridiculous, with the disintegrating house and the dark view, I was barely able to make out what little words were said, but what I did understand was that they were giving up on running away and that they both realized they made a mistake.
Although this film was confusing, it still had me watching. The comedy, the action and the dedication that both Joel and Clementine had towards each other, whether in his mind, or in reality these two shared something throughout the film, and that was love. Jim Carrey played a great role in this movie and it was interesting to see him play a part that is so different from who he is and the roles he usually plays. Kate Winslet as well was a remarkable actress, I believed her free-spirit and I wanted to be around her just as much as Joel Barish did.
I believe that science fiction movies are very different from other types of movie genres. They tend to either make a film about the future and its complexities or about the past and its differences from now, for that reason I could never really find myself watching that kind of movie. In this film I found that even though many of my questions went unanswered I more or less understood the point of everything that was happening.
Towards the middle of the film a quote by Pope Alexander was stated, I feel that even though I had questions this more or less helped me understand the basic point of the movie. “How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot? The world forgetting by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. Each prayer accepted and each wish resigned.”
- Pope Alexander-