Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind [DVD] 
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Charlie Kaufman, writer of the cult film 'Being John Malkovich', returns with another mind-bendingly inventive and unconventional plotline, this time driving a tender romantic comedy. Jim Carrey stars as Joel, a shy oddball who is stunned to discover that his longterm girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet), with whom he has recently split up, has undergone an experimental psychiatric treatment to have her memories of their tumultuous relationship erased. Still in love with her, and frustrated at the thought that she has no memory of their times together, he elects to undergo the procedure himself, and contacts the company who have pioneered it. The team, led by Dr Howard Mierzwaik (Tom Wilkinson), hook Joel up their computer and begin the process. The film, the majority of which takes place inside Joel's mind, then follows each of his memories of Clementine back in time as the most recent ones are systematically erased. But Joel's subconscious struggles to hold on to the memories as they slip away, and one of the nurses, Mary (Kirsten Dunst), who has undergone the treatment herself, sees his distress and eventually decides to send Joel and Clementine their files so that they know what they have lost.
Screenwriters rarely develop a distinctive voice that can be recognized from movie to movie, but the ornate imagination of Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) has made him a unique and much-needed cinematic presence. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a guy decides to have the memories of his ex-girlfriend erased after she's had him erased from her own memory--but midway through the procedure, he changes his mind and struggles to hang on to their experiences together. In other hands, the premise of memory-erasing would become a trashy science-fiction thriller; Kaufman, along with director Michel Gondry, spins this idea into a funny, sad, structurally complex, and simply enthralling love story that juggles morality, identity, and heartbreak with confident skill. The entire cast--Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, and more--give superb performances, carefully pitched so that cleverness never trumps feeling. A great movie. --Bret Fetzer
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Out on the beach there (which is freezing in February) - he talks to himself - incessantly examining the state of his life - or distinct lack of one. But to his amazement there's a lone girl further down the surf and sand in an Orange Sweat Jacket who seems to be giving him the eye. Too shy to interact - he walks away. But she's there again at the icy station platform making funny shapes - and again eyeing him in the seats opposite once the train is heading back to Rockville.
Too nice to make the first move - she can't resist any longer and sticks her head over the passenger seat in front of him. This wild force of nature has dyed blue hair, a mouth that just won't quit and a spikey personality - the opposite of his introspective self. She announces boldly that she is Clementine - and Joel is not to make obvious jokes about her name (he doesn't because he finds it magical). There is an instant attraction between them - she even drags fun lines out of Mister Stuffy Shirt and the diary he clings to (which inexplicably seems to be missing entries for two whole years prior to that day). In fact Miss Kruczynski asks - "Have we met before?" But Joel is sure they haven't.
But two days later at a friend's house as Joel discusses with passion the new girl in his life that he really thinks could be the one - the husband cracks and hand's Joel a greeting card (despite his wife's protests). To Joel's astonishment it reads - "Clementine Kruczynski has had Joel Barish erased from her memory. Please never mention their relationship to her again. LACUNA INC."
Joel now goes to this private organization (who are busy because of Valentine's Day emotional disasters) to find out what the Hell is going on. Once there he learns that these guys can erase difficult relationships and painful memories using a procedure that feels like a heavy night's drinking after it's done. But then sat in Doctor Harvey Mierzwiak's office (Tom Wilkinson) discussing the procedure - he hears familiar voices in his head. Joel now realizes that he's already `inside' the process - with employees Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst actually in his apartment getting drunk while they busily wipe away all traces of Clementine - and at 'his' request. But what if Joel's made a mistake - what if he still loves her and wants the process to stop? How does he protect Clementine and their love - inside a dream?
This ingenious film presents their relationship from initial excitement/love - to boredom/cruelty two years later - but tells it 'backwards'. We get to see what happened - who said what - and more importantly why they fell apart and became so jaded and bitter towards the end. And as the story unfolds in jagged continuity - we also see and feel 'their love' literally being wiped out in front of our eyes as the techno headset/computer coldly targets specific memories and kills them.
There's side plots too where Patrick (Elijah Wood) has fallen in love with the mind-wiped Clementine and is hiding Joel from her - while inventor boss Tom Wilkinson has also not been completely truthful with his infatuated secretary Kirsten Dunst. It's all very clever and intellectual and deliciously inventive.
But none of it would work without Carrey or Winslet and the intimacy they create at the beginning that then succumbs to truly nasty verbal bouts later on. They are fabulous in their parts - especially Carrey who plays completely against type. And as actors they abandoned themselves to a visionary Director and went to places in the script that are surreal - even silly. It's a wonder they managed to give it heart and even profundity. By the time it reaches its roundabout second chance ending - you're in love with them and it...
Directed by Michel Gandry and Scripted by the genius of Charlie Kaufman (see also "Adaptation" and "Being John Malkovich") - "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" is an acquired taste for sure - but personally I loved every challenging second of it. And I especially enjoyed seeing Jim Carrey blossom into something exceptional outside of straight up comedy (he's magnificent in "The Truman Show" too).
The BLU RAY (Barcode 5060116726770) has a card slipcase with a large slew of Extras including a feature-length commentary by French Director Michel Gandry and American writer Charlie Kaufman. There are enthusiastic conversations with Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Michel Gandry, Tom Wilkinson and Mark Ruffalo (mad haircut and all). Audio is English DTS-HD 5.1 and the lone Subtitle is English for the Hard Of Hearing.
The film's title comes from an Alexander Pope quotation - "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind - each prayer accepted and each wish resigned..."
This wonderfully clever and touching movie is a little like trying to get a handle on spaghetti - it's gonna be difficult - but the mouth-watering payoff is worth it...
Big name cast though glad i didnt see it as I normally wont watch any Jim Carey, and was surprised i didnt hate his acting or character and it wasnt too overplayed.
Some great visual nuances and loops that interplay in the story.
Bit of a marmite film for some I would think, but if you like quirky alternative films, think youll love this one.
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