It’s actually rather hard to write a definitive list of your favourites somethings. Every day I think of something else, and my favourites remain in a fluid state. And one of you has commented that one of the dangers of blogging is that people will disagree with you. True, true. But what is that saying that “if we always agree only one of us is needed” … So, why do I like Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, the movie, when many people don’t? Well, I did actually go to a film and discussion night on this movie, which got me to thinking more about it, and apart from the fact that it is a novel story and some of the photography is amazing (all the special effects are actually done through the camera) and Clementine’s hair changes colour to match the mood, I think it alludes to some interesting things. Aside also from the fact that the technology used in the movie is totally unrealistic, the love story is a lot more realistic than some (I really like romantic comedies, and period romances, but a cursory look around tells me that maybe life is not like that).
If you don’t want me to spoil the plot read no further but essentially the movie is about going through a process to rid your mind of certain painful memories. One of the characters who works for the company that performs this process says “… To let people begin again. It’s beautiful. You look at a baby and it’s so pure, so free, so clean. Adults … they’re like this mess of sadness and phobias. And Howard just makes it all go away”. Nietzsche is also quoted as saying “Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders”. The movie hints at the peace of mind that comes from being free of these painful reminders of past hurts and even sin – “How happy is the blameless Vestal’s lot, The world forgetting, by the world forgot: The eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each prayer accepted, and each wish resign’d”.
There’s an obvious lead in to the truth of the grace and forgiveness of God in there somewhere …
And as for the love story, well Joel and Clementine certainly have their moments (some of the biggest when Clementine wants an explanation of rather off-hand comments made by Joel). But in the end they come to this:
Clementine: I’m not perfect.
Joel: I can’t think of anything I don’t like about you right now.
Clementine: But you will. You will think of things. And I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped because that’s what happens with me.
And they agree to give it another go. For some reason, even though it dashes romantic notions of uninterrupted bliss forever, I like that.