Pros:Story, depth of characters, chemistry between Carrey and Winslett
The Bottom Line: In an excellent credit to film-making, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett star as lovers trying to erase their pasts. But is it the right thing to do?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is, to put it simply, a moving film. We go through our lives not really knowing where the next path will take us, and we fall under the assumption that things could be better. We fail to see what we have right in front of us until it is gone, and we think we know what we want when we really don't. Life is a series of experiences, of moments that define who we are, and shape who we will be in the coming days. This film sheds light on the thought that lots of people have; "Would you change anything if you had it to do over again?" My personal opinion, and conclusion to that question, is a resounding no. No matter what mistakes I have made, or things I have done, they helped mold me to the person that I am today, and brought the people into my life that I have had the pleasure of knowing. Such is the realization that the main character of this story must come to, and deal with on his own terms.
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Joel Barish is going through the toughest event of his life, as he is trying to reconcile in his own mind, the realization that he must now go on with life without his darling Clementine. Clementine and Joel had been as close as two people could be, but due to life events have ended up on different sides of the fence in regards to their relationship. Clementine has taken the steps to remove the relationship from her memories, by going through a procedure that will help her forget ever meeting Joel. It made perfect sense to her, that if she removed the most painful separation she had experienced from her mind, that she would have an easier time surviving. By removing every memory that led up to this point in regards to Joel, she won't have to deal with the emotions that he brings forth in her anymore. In one clean sweep, she has removed his existence from her consciousness.
Joel of course is still enamored with Clementine, and will try anything to win another chance with her. Unfortunately, he has lost all of his chips with which to play, because she no longer can attach emotions to his motives or actions. Lost for what to do, and feeling himself slipping away, he thinks that the only option that he has is to go through the same procedure that Clementine has done. To erase her existence from his own mind. Not an easy decision at all to make, and we are able to see the conflict racing through his mind as he tries to make the right decision. He does decide to go through with it, only to realize that the memory of being with her is more important than forgetting her. The rest of the film deals with his attempts to stop the erasure from inside his own mind, battling at every-turn the people on the outside who are attempting to only do what he has asked. Will he succeed in his attempts? Or is he better off just letting the procedure be completed?
The film does a great job of showing all of the subtle things that love can bring into our lives. It shows how deep a relationship can be to the people involved, and just how much importance we put in that other persons opinion of us. The movie takes a road that I have never seen before, and deals with all of the emotions 100% from inside of Joel's mind, and we relive his story through those memories. This approach makes the movie scattered, and at times we aren't able to figure out exactly what is going on. That is the whole genius of the writing, and that is the best part about the movie. None of us think in parallel lines, and the movie shows how fast we can jump from one thought to another without even thinking, or attempting to link them together. It really shows how much depth was put into this movie, and in the end it comes off as being very impressive.
In the two main roles, Jim Carrey plays Joel, and Kate Winslet plays Clementine. Both are extraordinarily good in their roles, and they really bring a dramatic innocence to both of the roles. In lesser parts, Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood play two people that work for the facility where these "erasures" are taking place, but it is really Carrey and Winslet that steal the show here. In what could possibly be the best role that either has undertaken, both actors show exactly why they are considered A-list. The movie shows all of the facets of love, and with stories for the surrounding characters that eventually mirror those of the two mains, the movie develops into something more than just a story about love. Making you think about your own memories, and what you would do in the same position, the movie is as intellectual as it is grand in scale. It truly is a great film, that I highly recommend everyone give a chance.
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