Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thoughts on "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

The other day, I watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". I had tried to watch it several years ago but stopped because it was too depressing, but now I finally manned up and watched it completely. It's one of the most thought-provoking movies I have ever seen. It's very interestingly filmed and it has to be the best movie about relationships I've seen.

It's the story of a couple, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) who go through a procedure to erase each other from their memories, yet in the end, still decide to start a relationship again even though they know they'll break up anyway. While watching the movie, two thoughts struck me:

It's incredibly stupid to erase someone from your memory. The people you meet, the events that happen, they are the ones that shape your life. Even the negative moments the people you wish you had never met because now you've changed into someone you despise...all that shapes who you are. And in the end, you are the one that decides what to lel make or break you. I believe that you can learn something from everything that hapens to you, and relationships are the best example of that. Even if the relationship was horrible, destructive, and you would have been better off without it, now you know what relationships not to get into. If a relationship ended badly, that's regrettable, but think about all the good times you had and be glad for those. And if you really honestly want to go back and fix the ending, try to keep in touch with your ex, discuss what happened...Don't just wallow in guilt and think you can't change anything. You almost always can (provided an amount of cooperation from both parties is present). Yet, trying to erase a person won't help. If you find that person again and strike up a relationship, the memory loss process is useless because you'll still reach the same conclusion. This is explored in the movie by the sub-characters Mary and Howard, two employees of the Lacuna business that performs the memory erasure process. In the past, Mary had an affair with Howard, had her memory erased, yet after, she still harbours romantic feelings for him.

The second thought that passed through my mind was at the end where after Joel and Clementine realize that they have already dated two years ago and know that if they date again, they'd still break up, they decide to give it another go. That's what makes the whole movie so beautiful and hopeful; the fact that even though you know the relationship won't last, you still go through with it. Because, in reality, few relationships last until death parts. Even if a couple stays together one year, five, fifty, there is still the immense chance that they'll go their separate ways. And it's sad but that's life, and it would be smart to go into every relationship with the mentality that you're going to get the best out of it you can, and when it's time to end it, you will. A relationship is not the end of the road between two people. Contrary to popular belief, you can still be extremely good friends with your ex. In my opinion, friendship with someone is superior to a romantic or sexual relationship. Romance dies, lust fades, but friendship can be a life-long sentiment and is easier to maintain. The movie also infers that no matter how long a relationship is and no matter how "serious" it is, it is still an important part of one's life. A one-year relationship is not necessarily more valid than a twenty-five year one or a one-night stand. Each has their purpose and only the people involved know how truly important the relationship is. The most important thing is to have a good time while you can.

I highly recommend this movie. Jim Carrey is an amazingly good actor in dramas and Kate Winslet is as well. Though a bit confusing, it all comes together at the end and the filming is ingenuous. Also, you really can't miss Clementine's awesome hair.

1 comment:

  1. This was a brilliant read. I think you really caught the beauty that this film invokes and the important message it ultimately delivers.