It turns out they have a past, however. The films runs nearly in reverse, will the events of the past listing themselves in reverse order- going back to when they first met. But in between both Joel and Clementine have their memories of each other erased, and the film tells of Joel's struggle to let go of what he discovers are precious memories.
This is a breath taking film. The first part is quirky and jumpy; however stick with it. It builds into a masterpiece of desperation as Joel realise's through living his memories again that there will come a time when she is gone from his life- again- and it hits him that he has to say goodbye.
The sub story is of the people who provide the memory treatment. Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood play what seem to be unimportant distractions in Carey and Winslet's tale, but as momentum builds, they become the key to their future.
I loved this film. Although it starts as something you have to think about, it build into an emotional masterpiece, one is which makes you realise how precious your memories are, and how much you take them for granted. You are left in a world which you simply don't want to leave.
One of the few films I would recommend buying.
The plot, in a nutshell: Joel (Carey) discovers that his eccentric, impulsive, blue-haired ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had all memory of him erased by a company specialising in the procedure, and he decides to have it done too. There is a subplot involving Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst, but the focus of the film is certainly the messed-up tragicomic alternately perfect and disastrous relationship between Joel and Clementine. The majority of the film then takes place inside Joel's mind as he chases Clementine through his memories and watches them fade away.
The deepest parts of Joel's memory begin to collapse in chilling, sad and sometimes downright scary sequences, as books lose their writing, buildings tumble, places and people fade and disappear and faces lose their features. At the same time we catch a glimpse of the insecurities of both characters that originally brought them together. Corny romanticism is thrown aside: this film is uncompromising, realistic and honest, and the relationship between the characters is both glowing with light and life and shadowed by their differences. The delightful idiosyncrasies of the objects Joel names as having an association with Clementine (a giant stuffed skeleton doll, people made of potatoes, journals, mugs, pictures, cards, snowglobes...) reveal the crazy truth that exists between people.... Read more ›
Probably because the audience expected a dull, common denominator 'comedy' which consisted of Jim Carrey pulling silly faces and prancing around for an hour and a half. Instead, they got a brilliantly conceived story of romance and a piece of cinematic magic.
From the opening section where Joel (Carrey) and Clemantine (Winslet) meet on a train, I was engrossed. This is undoubtedly Carrey's finest performance, as he plays the somewhat insecure Joel. Discovering that his somewhat crazy ex-girlfriend Clemantine has had all memories of their relationship erased through an experimental procedure, Joel decides to have the same procedure performed.
Not only is the core relationship one you can believe in and root for, it's tightly wound together. Elements that fail to make sense at the begin are made clear half-way through, as Carrey races through the maze of his memories of Clemantine, watched over by the dodgy medical crew overseeing the procedure.
The directing is wonderful with some surreal sequences in Joel's memories, the acting is excellent throughout and it has that ethereal something that separates a good film from a truly great one.
Jim Carrey plays "Joel;" a quiet and shy person who keeps to himself most of the time. He's bummed out when he discovers that his girlfriend had a new procedure done in where she has erased him from her memory. Not knowing what else to do, Joel decides that he must get the same thing done to him and goes to the clinic to have her erased from his memory, hoping that the pain and sadness will go away. When he's undergoing the procedure, unconscious and reliving the memories as they are being erased, Joel begins to realize that there were some very happy moments he had with her and he doesn't want to lose them after all.
It's really hard to categorize a movie like this. While it is indeed a comedy on some levels, it has a lot of dramatic elements to it, as well. Because of this, people will either fall in love with it or despise every minute of it. What really struck home with me is how honest and creative it really is. You'll find a lot more honesty and truth in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" than in most of the "cute" comedies that are out there today. It is extremely easy to relate to the characters, and that is what makes it all the more realistic for us. Jim Carrey is absolutely fantastic in this, as he is very controlled and doesn't try to steal the show. This is when you really get to see his acting skills shine.... Read more ›
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