Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood,
Kirsten Dunst, Thomas Jay Ryan, Jane Adams, David Cross, Gerry Robert
108 Minutes, Directed by Michel Gondry
Description:A guy decides to have the memories of his ex-girlfriend erased after she's
had him erased from her own memory--but midway through the procedure, he changes
his mind and struggles to hang on to their experiences together. —
I didn’t really get into Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (just Eternal Sunshine from here
on, all right?) until about three-quarters into the movie. Then the movie
achieved a sort of sad poignancy that is rare in most of today’s Hollywood
Eternal Sunshine has a kind of
authenticity in that despite its fantastical premise (people’s minds can
be wiped of unpleasant memories!), it seems to be informed by real
experience and genuine emotion. I guess I’m trying to say here is that it
seems as if screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (of Being John Malkovich
fame) took aspects from his own life and relationships and dumped them
into this movie. This is rather rare nowadays in Hollywood. (Compare for
instance the characters and situations in this movie to the recent
the only writer/director who makes similarly personal films is Woody
Allen. For the rest Hollywood movies seemed to be populated by walking
props, mostly cardboard cut-out figures made to stand next to the special
effects. If Hollywood movies have real stars nowadays, then they are the
CGI special effects wizards rather than the people made to awkwardly
interact with their creations.
"Achieves a sort of sad poignancy that is rare in most Hollywood
movies . . ."
From the above you’d think that I liked
Eternal Sunshine more than I ultimately did. And while I admired
the way the screenplay stuck to its own dogged logic and the clever
dialogue simply outshone almost anything else, I found something lacking
in the movie. Perhaps it was the main actors – who while doing an
admirable job – never quite managed in imbuing their characters with the
life and energy that makes us believe in them as lovers meant for each
You see, while Jim Carrey manages to
repress every facial tic and shenanigan that he regularly employs in his
comic roles, his performance comes across as so muted that one wishes that
he would actually let it rip once in a while! Winslet too gives a
workman-like performance, but to be honest she never really comes to life
as the complicated waif she is supposed to be.
while I found bits of Eternal Sunshine to be quite good, the movie
as a whole didn’t exactly gel for me. Maybe it was a case of heightened
expectations, but I must admit to being slightly disappointed by the film.
This does not however mean that I won’t recommend the film. It is
recommended for anyone who feels like something “different” and original
for a change, who is tired of brain-dead emotion-free special effects
flicks like Van Helsing. Anyone expecting
another Truman Show or Being John Malkovich
just might walk out of the cinema disappointed . . .
Oh yeah, here's the quote from the
Alexander Pope ("Eloisa to Abelard") poem from which the title is taken:
How happy is the blameless vestal's
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.