Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Daniel O'Sullivan | 19/04/2020

With stellar performances from Carrey, Winslet and Co., incredible visual effects and a mind-bending script, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a rom-com for the ages.

After seemingly meeting by chance on a beach in Montauk, Joel and Clementine soon learn that they have already met and had a relationship, the memories of which have been clinically erased. Largely taking place in his subconscious, Joel relives his relationship with Clementine through a non-linear timeline as relationships are tested and secrets come to light.

Carrey and Winslet both shine throughout the film as they portray characters that are very far removed from their usual wheelhouse, with the former taking a more subtle and nuanced approach and the latter employing more eccentric methods, with both working to perfection. The couple’s on-screen chemistry is also phenomenal, with each shared scene being a delight to watch as both actors seem to feed off of the chaotic energy of the other with ease and excitement. The supporting cast also excel when on-screen, with the exchanges between Ruffalo, Wood and Dunst making for some of the films more humorous scenes.

With such a complicated concept for a rom-com, it can be easy for the screenplay to come off the rails. Thankfully, Kaufman and Duncan’s script is tailored to near perfection, with exceptional execution of non-linear storytelling techniques to ensure the audience are following, but still experiencing some confusion in order to help them connect to the characters even more. Though it’s 108-minute runtime sometimes feels longer, it’s hard to find any fat to cut as each scene plays an important role in the grand scheme of the film.

Lastly, director Michael Gondry flexes every muscle in his filmmaking body, with each scene being a visual treat for the audience. The scenes in Joel’s subconscious are especially impressive as Gondry successfully experiments with perspective, visual effects and sound mixing in order creatively and efficiently express the intricacies of the human subconscious.

Conclusion

If you’re a fan of either the rom-com genre, the superb cast, abstract visual effects or all of the above, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind should be at the top of your watchlist. Now streaming on Netflix.