Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary with director
Michel Gondry and writer Charlie Kaufman; 'A Look Inside Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' feature; A Conversation With Jim
Carrey and Michel Gondry; Lacuna Inc. advertisement.
FANTASTICALLY dark, trippy comedy that comes over as a cross-between
Donnie Darko and The Truman
Goofy, commercial artist Joel (Jim Carrey) wakes up one day and
decides to skive off work and visit the seaside instead.
So off he goes to the beach, where he meets this strange girl,
Clementine (Kate Winslet), who seems to be following him.
Joel is intrigued by the prospect, but he's too girl-shy to do
anything about it.
So, it's Clementine who makes all the running and, before long,
the two oddballs have paired up and become an item. Or have they?
Joel is made-up with this development, and goes all out to keep
the romantic fires burning with Clem, who seems to be as keen
on Joel as he is on her. But is she really?
Then one day, Joel goes to visit Clementine at work and she appears
not to know him.
In fact, she flatly denies that she has any clue at all who he
Joel is devastated. What has happened to make Clem treat him
The answer is that Clem, for some reason that we never really
discover, has had all her memories of Joel erased from her mind
- courtesy of mad cap scientist, Dr Howard Mierzwiak (a great
performance from Tom Wilkinson), and his band of merry assistants,
led by Stan (likewise Mark Ruffalo).
Joel is shocked and deeply hurt by the discovery, so much so
that to spare himself any more anguish, he decides to have his
memories of Clem erased.
Simple, eh? If you can't live with 'em, wipe out all trace of
them from your life.
However, what Joel hadn't counted on was his brain's resistance
to losing the memory of his former girlfriend, and, as it fights
to hold on to Clementine, we are taken on a brilliantly bewildering
ride through time and inner-space, where reality and continually
fantasy unite then separate, then intertwine again, as Joel's
subconscious attempts to protect Clementine from the brain erasers.
Written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michael Gondry, this
really is a brilliantly imaginative film, and provides yet another
showcase for Carrey's celebrated talent.
But there's an edge to this performance from the Canadian funnyman
that has not often been seen before.
On the dis-staff side of things, Winslet, in one of her best
performances yet, and Kirsten Dunst, great as Ruffalo's mental
bird, provide strong support, as the bizarre tale unwinds.
All round brilliance. Go see it, after all, if you don't like
it, you could always have it wiped from your memory. Couldn't