I remember only have watching “Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind” once like four years ago. Now when I look back at it, I realized it is sensational with more of a satire tone rather than a tone that is dramatic, like “Magnolia.” “Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind” has the dramatic sense but is also able to make its viewers laugh at certain key moments. Writer and director Michael Gondry’s idea of the plot involving people’s memory being erased came from his buddy Pierre Bismuth. Bismuth gave him this idea where at one point he recommended to Gondry that a character gets a letter saying, “Someone you know has just erased you from your memory.”
The main character is Joel Barish (played by Jim Carrey), a man who just broke up with his darling girlfriend Clementine (played by Kate Winslet). Joel believes he can try and win Clementine back, however he realizes that at one point she did a procedure to erase Joel from her memory. Joel meets Dr. Mierzwiak (played by Tom Wilkinson), the one who did the procedure for Clementine and influences Joel to do the procedure as well. Once the procedure begins, Joel starts to realize that as his memories fade away, that he still loves Clementine, but it may be too late to correct his mistakes given how much memory was erased from Clementine’s mind.
The three characters that run the night-long procedure are Stan (played by Mark Ruffalo) Patrick (played by Elijah Wood) and Mary (played by Kirsten Dunst). They are all basically the dim-witted associates of Dr. Mierzwiak. They get stoned, drink beer, and eat junk food and lose attention of the updates of what is going on in Joel’s mind. Also Patrick is in love with Clementine and this just makes the puzzle for Joel even more depressing. Now that Joel is trying to not remember Clementine, Patrick just makes Joel’s puzzle of sadness even more harsh than it already is. It is a puzzle that is suppose to be straight-forward but the immature behavior causes a generous amount of disputes.
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a masterpiece to me. I have never done anything relating to brain damage and have never lost any memories. The process of the memories being erased in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” will make its audience wonder how they can learn from their mistakes and fix certain situations instead of always trying to forget about mistakes they regret.
Gondry had a visual process to make this movie an art form. He would give his camera operators earlobe headsets. As the operators were filming the actors, Gondry was able to have a say in all the angles no matter where the actors were. This led to lots of satire since it was the actor’s decision to have a long conversation sitting on a couch or by a window. This strategy also helped the actors improve their performance since they had to do numerous takes on based on gut feelings.
“Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind” may be a bore to some viewers at first. I had to watch it twice and really pay attention. Since the first time I never read the synopsis I just went straight to watching the movie. The second time, I read the synopsis, watched the movie twice, and thought it was brilliant. I can even tell that there were numerous takes of certain scenes. Since the film goes to the same scene two or three times in the process of Joel losing his memory. Will Clementine be with Patrick or Joel? Will Joel and Clementine lose their memories of each other and be happy? Or will the non-structured puzzle of regrets just keep getting messier? Find out and watch “Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.” Three stars.