review: eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (2004)

So I just watched this the other day. How did I miss this film for the past 10 years? Who knows…

Anyway, YAAAAAS is all I have to say about this one. To be completely honest, I was very skeptical when a friend of mine recommended this to me as “a movie with Jim Carrey as a serious character”. I just thought – how in the world could that be good? To put it simply, I was extremely pleased with this, so I take all my negative thoughts of him in serious roles back.

Synopsis (IMDB): When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

So yes! Back to Jim Carrey, he was wonderful in this! Definitely not his usual, forced over-acting self. As a general non-Carrey fan, I’m not going to say that I love him now, and start watching all his movies from the past, but I definitely have gained much more respect for him as an actor. Additionally, him and Kate Winslet seemed like such an odd pairing to me at first, but it definitely worked. I mean, Winslet is such a chameleon, I’m pretty sure she could work with anything and anyone, but the two of them together in these roles was definitely powerful.

Other cast members to applaud in this were Elijah Wood, and Mark Ruffalo. I’ve always liked Mark Ruffalo, and have had a soft spot for him, but Wood was another pleasant surprise in this one. I don’t know – every time I see Elijah Wood, I just see little, helpless Frodo Baggins from the Shire, and his look of surprise/confusion/constipation every time he got stabbed in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He was good in this though, so good on him!

In terms of plot and storyline, I generally get very antsy, and hate when things aren’t displayed to me in chronological order. Must be the trace of OCD in me. I don’t know, it just gets me very annoyed – and while I always end up aware of what’s going on, I just want everything to be in order – not chaotic. In this, I liked it. It made sense. The displacement of time actually HAD something to do with the overall story and theme of the entire film. It was reflective of the couple going back in time through various memories. It wasn’t just a time-sequence-inception gimmick thrown in there just for the sake of being “cool” and “innovative”.

Yeah anyway, the editing, colouring, story, pacing, EVERYTHING was wonderful in this. It’s one of those movies that you really have to invest yourself into. You definitely can’t be playing Candy Crush on the side, which I am notoriously bad for. In fact, the first time I tried to watch this, I just wasn’t in the mood. When realizing this, I forced myself to stop the movie, so I could save it for another time, where I’d actually be able to pay attention.

So, word of advice. Save this for a day where you actually want to pay attention to the movie.

You don’t want to waste this one.

just my rating: ★★★★★

Other reviews on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:
Kat in Words – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Linaelini’s Blog – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
If Dreams Are Like Movies – Do I Know You?

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