This one’s a Must-See!

A Clementine-memory on its way to oblivion.

Wonderful; clever

Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind is one of those films that have interesting ideas, which they present to us in a beautifully confusing way. It is a film that puzzles us, and our task is to figure it out if we are to understand precisely what the protagonists go through, and I admire most films aimed at a smart audience, this one being no exception.

The film involves a couple, Joel, played by Jim Carrey, and Clementine, played by Kate Winslet; they live in a world where there exists a scientific procedure that can erase certain bits of ones memory – David Cross’ character describes it as “a place that does a thing”. In this case, Clementine has, if I’ve understood the movie correctly, had an affair with Joel that ended unhappily and so she goes to see Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson) to have all memories of Joel removed.

Joel actually finds out about this and so he also goes to see Dr. Mierzwiak and asks to have her removed from his memories. As two men, Patrick (Elijah Wood) and Stan (Mark Ruffalo) begin the procedure and Joel’s memories of Clementine start to play before his eyes before they disappear into darkness, Joel realizes how much he wants to keep the memories of this woman. There are many visually beautiful scenes showing to us exactly how Joel sees the memories of his and Clementine’s happiest times go away for ever – it is fascinating to watch and sometimes sad.

The two men doing this to him turn out to be incompetent – Stan invites his girlfriend Mary (Kirsten Dunst) over for a party and Patrick runs off to meet his new girlfriend. This means they’re both busy with their girls and thus fail to act when Joel does somethig extraordinary to escape the procedure, while still asleep and inside his own mind.

Clementine, hair dyed for the umptieth time, lying next to Joel on what they think is their first night together.

The second half of the film is basically the two lovers attempting to escape the erasers. Joel somehow manages to grab hold of his beloced Clementine at one point during the erasing-process and together they travel through Joel’s memories – which is “trippy” to say the least – all because Joel understands at last, upon watching his good memories with her, now that it is too late, how much he still wants memories of Clementine.

It all sounds very strange as I describe it, I’m sure, but its curious premise manages to make a very beautiful and touching film, much like another strange but good film, also written by Charlie Kaufman: Being John Malkovich.

I won’t explain the movie to you any more than this, as the film is supposed to be a puzzle and a puzzle becomes significantly less interesting if I put the pieces together and then show it to you. Those of you who have not yet seen it but plan to should most certainly try to piece it together yourselves.

Kate Winslet is good in this film, like she usually is, and so is Jim Carrey, much more surprisingly. As I’ve stated already, he shows us his true self a few times, but other times I felt like I was actually watching a character and not just Jim Carrey – this I am not used to when watching a Carrey-film.

Eternal Sunshine is a wonderful film with great writing, lovely characters, amazingly clever visuals, good acting and a truly beautiful relationship between the two protagonists. It made me smile just as much as it made me sad; I loved this film.

5/5 whatever