Sunday, 1 April 2012

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) - ★★★★★

Director: Michel Gondry
Writers: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry
Stars: Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo

This is without a doubt my favorite movie of the decade. The story, the acting, the music! Everything about this movie was pure bliss to see and hear. With a masterful cast including Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst and Tom Wilkinson, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was literally breathtaking for me to watch. It sealed Winslet's status as one of the greatest actresses today showing her versatility in playing Clementine, a neurotic but likable person that changes her hair color in accordance with her mood. Carrey delivered the greatest performance of his career playing Joel, a nerdy, shy and good man that leads a boring life. Together, these opposites meet on a train (or so I thought) and click like Yin and Yang. Their chemistry was so natural, it instantly sucked me into their relationship.

After their relationship turned hateful, Clementine had Joel erased from her memory by a clinic that provides permanent amnesia services. When Joel learns of this, he has her erased from his mind so that he won't feel the pain of the bad break-up. The whole movie revolves around Joel dreaming about his memories, which in turn has them erased as he's hooked up to a machine that tracks and wipes them. It starts from his most recent memories which are all bad, showing that they had grown apart and displaying the events that led to their split. Further on we see the love and connection that they have with each other, bringing life and comfort into their lives. When Joel reaches his good memories with her he realizes that these memories are too good to erase and tries whatever he can to delve into other memories to save the ones with Clementine; but to no avail.

The movie is heart-breaking as we see Joel fall in love with Clementine all over again, yet he won't remember her at all once he wakes up. Carrey's acting was moving and real, which is why it was such a sin of omission by the Academy to not nominate him for Best Actor. Eventually, after many tender and bittersweet memories Joel has erased, we get to the first memory he ever had with Clementine. When they first met. Except according to his memory they met at a beach party, which contradicts what the beginning of the movie had us believe was their first ever meeting. Through reliving how they first fell in love, she whispers 'Meet me in Montauk.' I will not spoil the ending for my readers, however it is a delightful twist that had me speechless with a radiant smile.

Kate Winslet deserved the oscar for Best Actress for this role because she played a character with ever changing feelings and moods. She made me hate her for being so hurtful, but love her for being so honest. The music completed this movie, being one of the best soundtracks I've heard. Although this movie is hard to follow, anyone who manages to find meaning in their words and understand what is happening will find this film remarkable. I can not praise this film enough. I will leave you all with a quote from the movie that was masterfully read by Dunst.

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. Each prayer accepted, and each wish resign'd." This poem symbolized that their fate is a happy one and that everlasting happiness exists on their pure and clean minds.

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