Watching the film, Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind, you will perhaps walk away with the need to delete a few relationships from your own memory and I don’t mean just romantic relationships, but any relationship that has given you pain and suffering and made you miserable for a really long period in your life.
Among all the crazy narrative choices, innovative visuals and unconventional story elements, the bare bones of this film was just about a weird romantic relationship between two wildly opposite people, the character of Clementine played by Kate Winslet and the character of Joel played by Jim Carry.
Clementine has a very vivid and extroverted personality. She craves to know about everything that she finds interesting enough to explore while on the other hand, Joel is very introverted and extremely shy. He doesn’t really care about being noticed and just wants to drift by in life.
Clementine falls in love with Joel because Joel perhaps has locked away a mysterious depth into his mind that Clementine wants to know about and Joel falls in love with Clementine because someone has shown immense amount of interest in knowing him. But here’s the most intriguing twist, whenever Clementine expresses her desire to further know about the depths of Joel’s mind, Joel tries to avoid the topic by answering that his life is just not interesting enough for her to really know anything about him. This becomes the driving motivator for the increasing conflict in their relationship and they begin to slowly resent each other.
This got me interested in finding out any clues in the movie as to if Joel’s life really is uninteresting or does he have some dark secret that he doesn’t want to come out? There was a scene where Joel tries to hide the memory of Clementine someplace in his mind where it could remain safe and the memory erasing machine won’t be able to delete it. It was in this moment where Joel says that he just can’t think of any moment in his life without the presence of Clementine.
So as it turns out that Joel’s life really was uninteresting and the only thing that made his life interesting was the presence of Clementine. So, Joel was scared that if Clementine finds out about this, she would have no reason to stay with Joel anymore and much to Joel’s unwillingness to open up, Clementine leaves anyway.
Now Clementine hates Joel so much that she wants to delete him out of her memory which she does through this innovative process and when Joel finds out about this process, he wants to delete the memory of Clementine as well. But when the process begins to take effect and Clementine begins to disappear from Joel’s memory, he realizes that despite of all the hatred, he actually needs Clementine in his memory because of all the weird happy moments they spent together.
This is where I realized the point that the filmmakers were trying to make that all the relationships that matter to you will always bring you pain at some point in your life, but there’s a bigger reason that these relationships became important to you in the first place and that reason is that these relationships give you meaning and purpose in life. When you think about getting rid of them because of some small amount of bad experience, you will realize that you actually need them and you can’t live without them and they’re the only reason for making your life interesting and meaningful to whatever extent possible.
To support this theory just observe the intensely jumbled up narrative of this film, you can’t really seem to make out what happened before and what happened afterwards. The point of this narrative being jumbled up is that it doesn’t matter what happens before and after. You will always have fights and resentment towards your loved ones at one point or the other, but in the end what matters is the happiness and the incredible memories you get from these relationships and no matter what, you’re suppose to hold on to these memories because they make you who you are. No matter how much you try to run from who you are, at some point, you will have to change and become the best version of you that you can be and eventually learn to love yourself so you can let someone else in your life to love you and for you to love them back.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind is a film that will give you new perspectives of how you look at relationships in your own life. No matter how bad your relationships get, you will always decide to forget about everything and give your relationships another shot to thrive. So no matter if you have successful relationships or failed relationships in your life, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind is a film that you have to revisit time and time again.
Until then, leave a thought provoking comment about how you look at relationships and subscribe to my YouTube channel, to stay tuned for some film philosophy every Monday. In the hopes of connecting with film lovers all over the world, this is Mr. Zeecon, in the making of a great story.
I would love to hear it from you guys in the comments if Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind gives you new perspective about your relationahips?