AppsScraps Movie Reviews

Mar 29, 2008

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Release date: 19 March 2004 (USA)

The film won a deserved Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2004 and tells the fascinating story of Joel Barish (played by Jim Carrey) as he undergoes a targeted memory erasure procedure to rid his mind of his girlfriend, Clementine (played by Kate Winslet) after they have a particularly nasty fight. As such, much of the movie plays in Joel's mind as Clementine is slowly excised from his memory. However, what makes the movie really connect is when Joel realizes - mid-procedure - just how much he truly loves Clementine and tries to stop her demise by taking her to fictitious locations they never visited in 'real' life in hopes of keeping her alive in some sense. Director Michel Gondry does a fabulous job portraying what might happen in our minds as memories are erased, and the supporting cast of Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, the ever brilliant Tom Wilkinson and Mark Ruffalo give us a believable, if wonky, story in the 'real' world while Joel fights the battle in his mind. That all said, the movie is ponderous, there is no real erotic connection between Carrey and Winslet to make you feel moved by what's happening, and the film is muddled (but perhaps that's the point when it comes to memory erasure?). While a great film from the 'what-if' point of view (i.e., what if we could erase the memories of those we love[d]), the film fails to deliver any emotional home-run ... and is, like its title riffed from Alexander Pope's poem, forgetful.

My rating for the 'what-if' factor solely, 5 out of 10.

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