Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet,
Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Kirsten Dunst
and Mark Ruffalo.
"Random thoughts for Valentine's day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap."
So says Joel Barish, our film's main character. And while this might seem like a positively grim statement, this movie is what love is all about. Love sucks, but it can also be great.
In Eternal Sunshine, we start by looking at the life of Joel(Jim Carrey in an outstanding performance) a young man who is very melancholy and glum when it comes to Valentine's day, However, we do not know why he is so bummed, and frankly, neither does he. While riding on a train to Montauk, he meets Clementine(Kate Winslet in her finest role yet) a blue haired wacky woman who is constantly teased because of her name and its relevance to Huckleberry Hound. She is odd, crazy, and yet an altogether three dimensional character.
However, while they might be a happy couple right now, things go sour as Joel realizes that they were together before, but she erased her memory and has forgotten all about him. Seeing this as an opportunity to get revenge, Joel meets Dr. Mierzwiak(Tom Wilkinson), founder of Lacuna Inc. A company that erases peoples memories. And since it just so happens to be Valentine's Day, memories are being erased by the dozen.
What at first seems to be a worthwhile experiment turns into complete chaos when Joel wants them to stop for he remembers things that are near and dear to his heart. The flaw in the system, not all memories of an ex are bad ones.
While it may not seem like much, it is definitely something incredible, something that is just beautiful. Joel and Clementine erase each other, but they realize that life isn't just made up of good memories, and the memories of a person, a face, a smile, a smell, could just go away. Imagine, something in your life vanishing. And yes, everyone has had some lousy times, but those lousy times make us who we are today.
While watching it, the viewer might need to go over parts to make sense of the movie, but that is what makes it so great. It's a movie that once we re watch it, we pick up on many different things we have not noticed before.
In short, Eternal Sunshine is a genre and mind bending experience, a joyful and depressing movie. It might make you look at life differently, it might weird you out, but know that no matter what your reaction is to this movie, you will never forget it. Because like a good memory, it will last forever.