Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Review

A love story . . . Well a love story that went wrong and this makes an interesting story into why Clementine had Joel erased from her mind, prompting him to have the same procedure. Would you erase someone if you could?

Now this film is very well talked about and known, I even remember that I saw it at the cinema on its release. But remember thinking what?!?! As the credits rolled at the end. Maybe at 16 years old and seeing it in the cinema I just didn’t properly understand what this film was trying to get at and didn’t actually appreciate it properly. Now I have seen it many times and have it on DVD. It really is such an incredible film with amazing performances from Carrey and Winslet.

Joel decides to erase Clementine but the problem was that half way through the procedure he decided that he didn’t actually want to erase her and the memories of them together. He realised that she was a big part in the person he had become but also that he still wanted to be with her and have more good times like the memories we are shown throughout the film. It all just feels much more real than relationships you usually see in films, we see the arguments and disagreements which I think is one of the reasons that this film has such an incredible impact. You can really relate to how the characters feel due to relationships you have probably had.

I really enjoyed how the memories take Joel back to different places that they used to go together, as that is something you do. For certain people you have certain places that remind you of them and times you have had together and in some cases a place that you and only one other person actually knows about. It really is a thought-provoking film and it leaves you thinking and wondering if you would erase someone from your past. My theory on this is it depends how long ago something ended, as I am sure if someone broke your heart and in those days, weeks or even a couple of months later you would probably want to erase them to quickly take away the pain, but if years have passed you probably wouldn’t erase anything as you have learnt from that experience.

I think this is one of my favourite Kate Winslet performances in a film as she is so off the wall and crazy as Clementine and for some reason I find myself being able to understand where she is coming from a lot of the time. Trying to not call myself crazy, but I do have my moments I guess! While the main storyline is between Joel and Clem we do have a few other different sub plots going on as well. I won’t spoil the twist in one of them but I will say that I really did feel for Mary when something is brought up about her, as much as she is annoying to begin with.

Another incredible thing about this film has to be how you can pick up new things on each viewing and really take something else away from it depending on your mood as well, I don’t personally think that many films have the power to be able to do that for a viewer. You find yourself rooting for Joel and Clem and wanting them to still be together when you see how everything started and how much they really did love one another.

Jim Carrey’s performance has to be mentioned as well, taking on the more serious drama role and showing that he really is a brilliant actor. He shows that he does not always have to go for the comedy role and make people laugh to notice him on the screen. He is so down as Joel you really wish he would crack a few jokes just to lighten the mood.

I would recommend this film to anyone really, but also with a warning for people who don’t watch many films that it is very heavy and at times difficult to follow on first viewing. But I really would still put it as a must see, for the incredible performances but mainly for the question it leaves you with . . . Would you erase someone from your mind?

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10 thoughts on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Review

    • Thanks, it really is so thought provoking isn’t it! Does that mean you would keep your past how it is? Or would you be tempted to erase some of it?

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  1. I know I’m alone when I saw this, but I didn’t think this film was as great as everybody makes it out to be. However, you do an excellent job on the review of supporting why so many think it is ‘a must-see.’ And I definitely agree that the performances are excellent all around.

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    • That is an interesting point about it being labelled ‘a must-see’ do you think if that is added to a film you haven’t seen you always expect it to be one of the greatest films that you find yourself disappointed?

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