Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is a movie which was released in 2004. It was written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet have played the role of Joel and Clementine respectively and are the lead characters in the movie. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay along with Kate Winslet (Clementine) being nominated for Best Actress. Additionally, the movie earned $70 million worldwide and is remarked as one of the greatest movies of the 21st century.
Brief Analysis of the Movie
The story is about the two unknown individuals Joel and Clementine who happen to meet at the beach first and again on the train at the start of the movie. Joel and Clementine’s personality are shown to be distinctive, as the former is a shy guy. On the other hand, Clementine is an extrovert in nature. Love starts to bloom between the two, which they believe to be the start of a new romance. However, the fact is that they were a former couple who had broken up after living with each other for two years. The couple believes love to be new, as they both had undergone the procedure of Lacuna, which helped them to erase their previous memories of each other. Their previous love story has been emphasised in the movie when Joel is informed about Clementine: she had deleted all her memories of Joel. Taking the event as betrayal, he too decides to undergo the same procedure of erasing the memories. In this context, as the erasing process starts, it replays all the memories backwards in the minds of Joel from the times of their recent fights that resulted in the breakup. However, as the erasing process goes back to their happy days, full of love, and joy between the two, Joel realises as well as discovers his feeling for Clementine. This makes him realise that he wants to preserve the memories and tries to hide as well as keep some of her memories, but technicians traced and erased them. During the erasing procedure, he finds himself helpless, all his memories are erased one by one and finally, all the memories along with Clementine vanish from his mind. After this erasing procedure, they meet as strangers again at the beach as the movie begins. The title of the movie justifies the storyline. The story describes a metaphor of external reoccurrence, but the choice remains the same.
The movie has explicitly portrayed the two characters in a different way of how they uncover the hidden and forgotten emotions. There is no high climax of surprise and twists; rather the movie reveals the love between the two, even though they have lost their memories. However, the scientific technology failed to erase the emotions that they had for each other. Stan and Patrick are the two technicians who perform the erasing procedure. Patrick had learned about how Joel had made Clementine fall in love with him while performing the erasing procedure. Therefore he starts to use the same lines of Joel for gaining the attention of Clementine later.
However, Patrick’s trick fails, and this highlights that similar situations with another person cannot create the same love and energy unless emotions are discovered. Contextually, this movie is a science-fiction, as a pharmaceutical tablet has not been discovered yet to erase the memories. The movie’s impact on the audience is that it is related to the earnest and deepest sentiment that one has within. It familiarises with the audience in most of the cases. For instance, a person who has moved on in life is held back by something at times, which includes engraved emotions or the love that is highlighted in the movie. The other point of view that the movie levies on the viewers are that ‘will the choice and the actions of the person remain the same forever, even when situations changes’. At the end of the movie, it has been discovered that when Joel and Clementine become aware of them having two years of relationship together, instead of breaking up, they again agree to restart their relationship that they had failed earlier.
On the other hand, the lessons, which can be learned from the movie is that love cannot be perfect, people are imperfect. Love can damage and doom an individual’s life. This also suggests that ignorance of unhappiness and bitterness can lead to making good decisions in life. This is because if memories had not been deleted or ignored, it would have never been possible for the couple to express the actual emotions that they had for each other.
Bradshaw, P., 2004. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The Guardian. [Online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2004/apr/30/dvdreviews.shopping4 [Accessed August 27, 2018].