Film Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 1Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2

Plot: Not every relationship is a match made in heaven. But when Joel and his girlfriend, Clementine, decide to go through a process that will erase each other from the other’s mind, things must be bad indeed.

During the process, however, Joel starts to change his mind. Reliving some of his memories, he realises that not everything was bad and his love for Clementine is re-kindled. It’s too late though; she is being erased. Joel must find a place to hide her in his mind to protect what is left of his memories.

Upon waking, Joel decides to start again.

Quote: `How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot? The world forgetting, the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned.

 

Opinion: I have wanted to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind since a discussion at university and figured it was time that I got around to watching it. It has been a long time since I have seen a film with so many faces that I recognised: Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood and Kate Winslet to name but a few.

The plot was a complicated, twisted one, making you engage with it as you watch. Luckily, due to the topic of discussion at uni, I was prepared for this and so came to the film with my mind switched on. I can see why it would catch people out! Although I understood what was going on, I did find it hard to decipher between what was real and what was a memory at times – this is definitely a film where you need to have your wits about you to keep up with it.

Although the acting was strong – with a cast like this, how could it not be? – I struggled to connect with any of the characters. Perhaps I was in the wrong frame of mind, but the ending felt like it had no resolution as the characters didn’t seem to have progressed. Joel and Clementine couldn’t move past their differences and none of the other characters had achieved any true sense of purpose. It was hard to empathise with them and this distracted me from the film.

I did feel, however, that it was cleverly done. Moving through the memories and the way they were destroyed was visually pleasing for the eye – it was clear what was happening. Some of the settings were beautiful and hinted more effectively towards happier times in their lives than any narration or character development did.

You have to be paying attention with this film. It becomes clearer as it goes along, but the beginning initially seems a jumble of time-lines where nothing makes a lot of sense. The characters are weak, but the acting strong and the whole premise of what has been done to this characters could easily open up some moral debates if you were that way inclined. I’m glad to have seen it, but wouldn’t watch it again in a hurry.

Amazon | HMV

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4 thoughts on “Film Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

  1. I know what you mean about this film. It definitely is one that you have to pay attention to. I like that the premise makes me think about what is being done to them. Overall the film really makes you value memories and I think that is the point of the film overall. It’s definitely not really character or plot driven. It presents you with a moral dilemma.

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    • It does, and that isn’t the normal style for these days, which is why this film is such a refreshing change! I did enjoy it though! Thanks for the comment.

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  2. I think its one of those films that require a few viewings as I remember seeing it on its release at the cinema and didn’t have a clue what was going on. Since I have watched it many times and appreciate it more and more each time.

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