Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
directed by Michel Gondry
(Focus, 2004)

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.

- Alexander Pope

When I watch a film, especially one I have waited quite a while to see, I watch the people on screen with such intensity that I really don't care too much about those behind screen. This is a Charlie Kauffman film, which doesn't mean much to me, though it might to you. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stars Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson and Mark Ruffalo.

It's a pretty solid cast overall, although Wood should maybe stick to being a hobbit and Dunst can look for more cute cheerleader roles. Although their characters were essential to the story, the way they were playing the characters was not. Yet Winslet absolutely shines, and Carrey shows his craft in a new light. As of this movie I now see him as an actor, not a funny guy plying for just one more laugh.

An independent film released by Focus Films, I waited several months since its initial release to see it. I was left with mixed feelings; throughout the movie I kept feeling like I was not going to enjoy this picture overall, but at the end when all of the loose strings were tied together I found myself longing to see more of the two leads' story.

Sunshine is the story of a couple, Winslet and Carrey, who both are willing participants of a brainwashing system to be permanently removed of all memories of each other. The film then takes us on a riveting and wild ride, with at points camera work that is so choppy you feel like you are in the midst of a nightmare. The viewer is taken on a rollercoaster through the to-be-deleted memories as Carrey's character completes the process; midway through, however, he decides he does not want it. He longs for that missing part in his life. Thus we are re-introduced to him and Winslet as we were in the start of the film: strangers, starting over with a new love.

Over all this film really is worth seeing. It's nothing spectacular, but Carrey and Winslet are just so wonderful they are able to make this movie work well without hitting rock bottom.

- Rambles
written by Susannah Carey
published 12 June 2004

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