When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
A man, Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he realizes that he still loves her, and may be too late to correct his mistake. Written by
"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." - Alexander Pope Is ignorance truly
bliss? And if you could erase a person, what would the consequences be?
"Eternal Sunshine" answers these questions, in a way that most
Hollywood movies could not. Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman have
created one of the most original, touching, funny, and unique films of
recent years. It explores the mind and the heart, deeper than other
movies have dared to do.
Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) is on the shy side. He's rather quiet and
ordinary. Joel is stuck in life; he has no real relationships, a job he
hates, and doesn't know where he's going or what he wants, but is too
nervous to break out of his niche. Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet)
seems like his complete opposite. She's spontaneous, wild, and
eccentric. Her hair changes from red to blue to orange to green,
depending on her mood. Clementine doesn't care what people think, and
is free and impulsive, doing and saying what she wants.
Clementine and Joel have a wonderful relationship, then break up
because of petty arguments and irritations about each other's
personalities. Joel tries to talk to her, then discovers she has had
her memories of him wiped, by a company named Lacuna, that specializes
in removing unwanted memories. Angry and hurt, he decides to undergo
the procedure himself, confident he'll never miss Clementine. As the
various memories are erased, Joel sees their best and their worst
moments together. They argued and fought, but they were also happy, and
for a time, they really loved each other. He realizes he'd rather have
the pain of their relationship than have no memory of her at all. He
begins to regret his decision, and desperately tries to stop the
procedure. The film focuses on Joel's attempts to hide Clementine in
his mind, and his struggle to fight the process.
Jim Carrey's performance is wonderful, a complete change from his usual
antics. He is sympathetic and believable; the rubber face that is
usually contorted in a silly grin is subtly controlled, every line and
expression honest and real. He is becoming a gifted actor and hopefully
the public will forget the Ace Ventura side of him. Kate Winslet, who
is one of our greatest actresses, gives one of her best performances.
She gives a complexity to her role, which could have easily been
clichéd and simple. She shows Clementine's want for attention, but also
her incredible loneliness. Both of these characters aren't perfect;
there are times when you understand why they dumped each other, and
fought. But you also see why one loved the other. The supporting cast
of Wilkinson, Wood, Dunst, and Ruffalo hold their own, as the eccentric
team who run Lacuna, and have their own opinions about the process.
People have called this an "anti-romance" movie, but I don't feel that.
I think it is the ultimate romance movie, for it shows the complexity
and pain of love. How much it hurts when it's gone, and how wonderful
it feels while it's happening. "Eternal Sunshine" explores the mind
with an intensity that is both painful and eloquent at the same time,
like love itself.
This film will make you reconsider your opinions about many things:
life, love and memories. Gondry has brilliantly made it confusing and
fast, yet clear and profound at the same time. The film is delicate and
soft, but it hits you right in your heart. This is definitely a movie
everyone should see. Because if they did, love would never be the same
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