Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind

May 5, 2013
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind

Sometimes what seems like the right decision at that moment in time ends up being the worst decision of your life. In the film “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind” Jim Carey’s character, Joel, has a procedure done that involves memory erasure in an attempt to discard any memory of the two year relationship him and Clementine had. As logical as this idea seems to Joel at the time we later see that deep down it was not truly the decision he thought was best. The movie brings the watcher through a journey into Joel’s conscience where we see his struggle to keep Clementine from leaving his mind. His conscience reveals that possibly his love for Clementine stems all the way back to his childhood. Something during his childhood could have altered him in a way to later be attracted to Clementine.

After both Joel and Clementine’s memories of each other are erased, they eventually end up meeting again and falling in love. Some might portray this to be the workings of true love and the idea of soul mates. One train of thought in this film is how deep down true love actually is. While in Joel’s conscience we watch him struggle to keep the memory of Clementine in his mind. Series of events take place where Joel is with Clementine talking as if they know what is going on and that they both understand that Joel’s precious memories are slowly fading away. These events are in familiar places such as the beach, the forest and in Joel’s apartment. In an attempt to fight off the erasure Joel starts to reminisce of childhood memories to keep Clementine with him where no one would expect. Scenes flash of Joel as a child running in the rain and playing under an awning. Eventually his conscience brings us to a scene of him in a baby form and Clementine as his baby sitter. During this clip we see baby Joel being bathed in the sink by his mother while she sings “Oh My Darling Clementine” which is ironic since his ex girlfriends name is Clementine. This memory then gets erased and in a way to escape from the erasure he takes her back into another childhood memory. In this one Joel is being egged on by other children to hit a bird with a hammer. After he falls under the peer pressure and hits the bird he is humiliated and everyone starts to laugh at him. This memory of humiliation helps him hide from the erasure of his time with Clementine. This again shows an event that could have possibly affected Joel to later feel something that attracted him to Clementine. We begin to see that as he brings these memories of his childhood back to try and keep Clementine he is only erasing more. His love for Clementine stems back to times of his childhood, times that could have affected him in a way to later be attracted to her. This one thought extends the idea that your conscience shows your true feelings and how deep those feelings really go.

Joel’s conscience explains truly how he feels about Clementine. We see that deep down as much as he wanted to erase all memory he had of her, he was guilty for making the decision. The journey that we take through his attempt to escape the erasure process shows us some of his deepest memories. These memories were even some of his childhood where he displays different arrays of emotion such as, being humiliated, being upset and being scared. These memories and emotions later contributed to the feelings he had for Clementine that were so strong that even after his memories were erased he still ended up back with Clementine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Cooper1 said...
May 25, 2013 at 7:17 am
This was a really cool perspective, I really enjoy this writer's style
Site Feedback