Projections - Movie Reviews
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst,
Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood

Jim Carrey finds himself in a world turned up side down by a device administered by Dr. Howard Miezwiak (Tom Wilkinson) which removes all memories of Clementine (Kate Winslet) his punk blue hair lover.

For some the film written by Charley Kaufman Adaptation will appear to be a Jim Carrey comedy but close examination reveals a clumsy road to love traveled by Carrey and Winslet The Life of David Gale who are eccentric characters in an over the top play.

The process which removes memories one by one plays a large role in the lives of Kristen Dunst Elijah Wood and Mark Ruffalo all a part of the company owned by Tom Wilkinson. The process which removes bits of information from the brain searches through out the gray matter for their location as a computer searches a drive or a disk for information which it then places in order.

Kaufman's screen play has Carrey's Joel Barish reliving pieces of love with Clementine as the erasing process is underway. In flashbacks we see romance on the wintery beach, in each character's apartment in illegally entered homes, and on a frozen river all played against the volatility and unconventional life of each of the two characters. Clementine is a free spirit changing her hair color regularly and quickly moving in with Joel bringing only her toothbrush. The spark of love exists for the pair but their differences challenge the stability of the relationship and when harsh words are spoken they separate.

As Joel takes part in the brain washing system, to forget her, he finds himself resisting the loss of his memories of free wheeling Clementine even when they are not pleasant. Is it better to have loved and lost or better to continue to love? A spotless mind has no memories to help make that decision.

The pieces of memory don't flow smoothly in order, they are projected in broken parts of the whole flowing in and out of Joel's memory beyond his ability to stop the process which he has second thoughts about. It all resolves itself but only after a bumpy road through an unreal scenario.

Winslet is persuasive as the free spirit devil may care princess of irresponsibility. Carrey is a counter character being quiet and introverted. She is the one who initiates the relationship picking him up during a train ride.

Carrey turns to a new direction in this production even with comical situations the film revolves around loss and the frantic attempt to connect. Carrey's Joel learns that he prefers a flawed Clementine than no Clementine at all. In doing so he attempts to force each of us to think more about what is positive in relationships rather than what is not. If he succeeds he is in a very different acting circle than he was before this film.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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