Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Dan, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    This movie really moved me in a way I had forgotten movies could. I read the screenplay a long time ago and honestly thought it was one of the best things I've ever read, hands-down. The movie was much, much different than the script, but in a very good way. There were some sci-fi elements in the script that were removed, leaving just a very human story, despite the outlandish nature of the plot.

    If you don't know, it's about an introverted, bookish man named Joel (Jim Carrey) who finds that after a messy breakup with his ex, Clementine (Kate Winslet), she had a procedure done which wiped all memory of Joel from her mind, so she never even knew he existed. As revenge, Joel has the procedure done to himself as well. There is also a subplot involving the lab techs performing the erasure on Joel (Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst). I don't want to spoil any of the surprises, but I will say that the two plots end up intersecting in a very touching, emotional way.

    The bulk of the movie takes place inside Joel's memories. As he sees his life with Clementine being erased, he decides he wants to call off the procedure, but of course, it's too late. The cinematography and writing are brilliant in these scenes, but it's the acting that really holds it all together. In one scene, Joel and Clementine have their last argument before the breakup on a city street. As they argue, the signs behind them start erasing, then the stores. Cars literally fall from the sky as the memory erases itself, and yet the actors play it so real, you never question it for a second.

    As I said, Joel is very introverted and quiet, so I was shocked when I heard Jim Carrey was playing him. However, he really proves in this movie that he's not just a guy who makes funny faces. Though he won't get it, I think he deserves an Oscar for this performance. Kate Winslet was great, too, I had forgotten what a beautiful girl she is, and she is a great actress to boot! Maybe it has a lot to do with my love of the punk look on a girl (her hair is at times either blue, orange, green, or red in this movie), but I think she's never looked better. I usually don't make a big deal out of this, either, but she pulls off a really really great American accent. Kirsten Dunst has a small but important role, and she's really good in it, as well.

    Despite all its quirkiness, the movie actually has something to say, and is very emotional at times. I give it 4 stars out of 4.
     

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