Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – Clear Your Mind

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is one of the hell long titles. Nevertheless, it’s not really one of those. If you think there is a weird thing on its title, you would know it if you watch this movie. You know what the meaning of the title is. Critics always say Charlie Kaufman as one of the savior screenwriters in the 2000s and it’s a fact. He often collaborates with Spike Jonze especially “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation.“. And this time, this movie brings nature and our behavior in a science fiction romance story.

One thing about this movie is Jim Carrey. If we always think of Jim Carrey as a comedian in each of his movies, this is different. Jim Carrey as Joel Barish, a guy who was in a relationship with Kate Winslet as Clementine, a unique woman. Their relationship peaked until Clementine’s patience ran out. He thought she was bored with dealing with Joel. Until she decided to go to a clinic that provides memory removal services. Knowing this, Joel was in a condition of severe heartbreak and decided the same thing.

In the process of erasing, all of this didn’t go smoothly because Joel’s subconscious mind still had feelings for Clementine. In this situation, Joel has two choices: surrender by erasing his memory or trying to protect Clementine from his memory. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is one of the unique romance films rather than romance films in general. This movie isn’t a typical romance movie. Its mindf*ck story makes you think this is not really a romance story.

Jim Carrey’s Joel is just so comical as an introvert guy who didn’t really have everything in his life, gray, but also still has a feeling as well as the audience. In some scenes, he could be funny but a serious performance with comical characters can make his character unique than others. The point of this movie is set in Joel’s mind, analyze this movie as well is just one of the fascinating ways to understand deeply this movie. Either the repeatedly ending scene, Clementine’s hair colors, the movie has a lot of meaning and symbolism.

It becomes clear that this movie is not about the clustering relationship between Joel and Clementine. But, we got a lot of complicated sub-plots between Mark Ruffalo as Stan, Kirsten Dunst as Mary, and Tom Wilkinson as Dr. Mierzwiak. This movie has a lot of memorable scenes and lots of comedy as well. But, there is something between this movie about reality and dreams but in a beautiful way. It’s like watching David Fincher’s works but it’s a charming movie, a labyrinth and puzzle movie we come across were different from any puzzle films or other mysteries.

If you really think this movie was hard to understand, there is one thing you should know: the settings. It takes place, the whole story, in Joel’s mind but there is a non-linear plot between the current event, the reality, and the reveal ending scene. Most of the time, the film goes backward as to how their meeting began to how all this could happen. It’s just paradox, in Joel fragmented memories, the movie required a piece, so many pieces, to place it in one place all together.

Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman use an emotional approach to united the common thread of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Watching this movie repeatedly would make you find and easy to distinguish where the flashback, dreams, real, and not real. But, in addition to Carrey and Winslet, the consistency of all of these extra characters’ sub-plots changes to one to another. Kaufman uses other characters except for the protagonist to deconstruct an important device that’s erasing memory. And from erasing memory, you realize it’s not just Carrey’s and Winslet’s plots that matter most. But rather, there is more to them.

Every set, every art direction, and every scene in this movie is amazing. Too many simple scenes but not the simplicity that makes this film not only simple. This is a beautiful movie, there are so many memorable scenes like the bed scene, the table scene, the dance scene between Ruffalo and Durst, the frozen pool scene. It’s just so beautiful. Of course, the film doesn’t have clear transitions and plots are always jumping. In addition, this is a sci-fi, considering that the genre always displays complicated as sophisticated technology.

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” combines a genre of romance and comedy to be one of the best in its genre, touching, and interesting. This movie doesn’t only involve love but it’s a beautifulness of communication and relationship between each other. This movie put to pain, reality, wisdom, hope, and everything into one of the depressing one as well. But, it’s just purely a film, personal thing, and experience.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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