I have to comment about a movie I saw the other night – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I hired it on DVD and after putting the kid to bed poured myself a drink and started it. After 15-20 minutes I was just about ready to turn it off but comments I’d heard on the Movie Show kept me going. I think it was Megan Spencer who’d said it was one of her favourite movies for the year so I stuck with it.
I’m so glad I stuck with it as I thoroughly enjoyed it and could be heard muttering to myself, ‘I get it now’. The timelines were a bit confusing at the beginning – like Memento – but it gelled more and more as the end came nearer. I enjoyed Memento and this was one step beyond that I think. Memento was about memory and like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starts at the end, telling the story to the beginning – so the beginning of the story becomes the end of the film. It’s a confusing way of seeing a movie and this was all the more confusing because you see the couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) meet twice which completely threw me at first.
As the film neared its conclusion I was liking it more and more and empathising with the relationship in its first throes of love and the sourness towards the end but also wanting Jim Carrey not to have his memory completely erased of his love.
Where Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind did it for me more than Memento though was the consequences of having your memory erased. I know that memory erasion was not done on purpose but rather through a medical condition in Memento, so it is slightly different. It gives credence I guess to that saying, ‘It’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.’ As most of us know relationships can be hard work and they don’t always go very well and can end up in bitterness but you learn from your mistakes. But how can you learn from your mistakes if you have them erased from your memory?
It’s now a week since I saw the movie and I’m still thinking about it. To me that’s a good movie experience – unlike seeing Garfield which was a total waste of the money I paid to see it at the cinema.