Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Indie Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

                                   A Masterful Love Story Done With Visual Flare

                     I remember the first time I saw this movie, I didn't see it in its entirety and I got all confused, but after I just watched it in its entirety and for a second time, things started to make more sense. But this movie is something I rarely ever call a movie, and that is a masterpiece. It is an eccentric love story that mixes unique visuals with realism.

                    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is about a man named Joel (Jim Carrey) who meets and forms a relationship with an eccentric woman named Clementine (Kate Winslet). After they have broken off their relationship, Joel realizes that Clementine had him erased from her memories and he decides to undergo the same procedure that she went through. While he does, he realizes how much he loves her and decides he doesn't want to go through with it.

                    What I Liked About It:
                   First off, I'll discuss the actors, especially the two leads. All I have to say about Jim Carrey's performance is WOW!. When he is on screen, you hardly realize that it is Jim Carrey on screen as he isn't doing his typical comedic Jim Carrey routine and he really showcases his dramatic acting chops. Kate Winslet also shines as Clementine, a woman who is very impulsive and high-maintenance. Winslet is funny, vulnerable, sassy, bubbly, and touching, all in the same performance, and she proves why she is one of the best actresses in the business. Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson also have supporting roles and they are just as good and they have separate story arcs aside from the story about Joel and Clementine. Mark Ruffalo and Kirsten Dunst play Stan and Mary, who work for Lacuna Inc., the company that is helping Joel erase his memory and helped Clementine erase hers. While they engage in drinking and sexual activity, Mary only views Stan as a friend and channels her inner emotions towards Howard (Tom Wilkinson), an older married man who Stan and Mary work for. Elijah Wood plays Patrick, another employee of Lacuna Inc., who dates Clementine after she has her memory erased and copies aspects from Joel's relationship with her in order to sleep with her.

                   Another thing about this film that I fell in love with was the fabulous direction from Michel Gondry. I've actually seen a music video that he directed of the song "Army of Me" by Bjork and this film definitely has the same style, but I love it. He manages to mix offbeat visual flare with realistic settings and situations. For example, there is one scene that takes place in Joel's mind where Joel and Clementine are running through a train station while everything around them disappears, signifying how Joel's memories of Clementine are being erased.

                   What I Didn't Like About It:

                  Overall, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a masterful dramedy that features honest and flawed characters, visually entrancing sequences, and makes us question whether or not ignorance truly is bliss. Just on a side note, this film may require more than one viewing as, like I said, it may get confusing. But this film is really worth the watch and offers a unique film-watching experience.

Rating: 5/5