Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


NOTE: This isn’t so much a review as a collection of thoughts.

WARNING: This collection of thoughts contains SPOILERS.

When in life are we utterly happy? Utterly complete? Society, or at least old society, suggests that marriage is the goal to work towards, for ultimate fulfillment in existence. Now, the focus is more on independence and autonomy, doing it for yourself; to have the courage to feel complete, alone. But is there a point in life where we reach a state of utmost peace, feeling unrestricted in our bliss like some kind of emotional euphoria? Or is the point of life to enjoy the ride? To strive and conquer, but to enjoy the adventure of the unexplored?

When Clementine and Joel first meet, it’s the typical love story. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. They are happy to an extent and live with pleasure together in their unified battle with the daily hassles of the world. But as their relationship progresses, they fall into a vicious circle of arguments and uncontrollable discomfort, their emotional bowl brimming with hatred for each other’s subtle habits and traits – the things that, at the beginning, they loved most about each other. Where they once had felt complete side by side, they became broken and trapped in a state of lover’s turmoil. Clementine falls the deepest into this romantic turbulence and decides to have a medical procedure to forget Joel altogether: every single memory deleted in the space of one night. When Joel finds out, he freaks and in a frenzied dilemma, demands for the procedure himself. Clementine and Joel Mark One have been omitted.

Now, when they meet again, second time around, they listen to the tapes of each other’s rants of abuse. They hear this mutual hatred and brutal remarks of torment, ultimately learning the messy outcome of their first relationship. And yet they start again.

It’s like buying a book your friends have been raving about for months. You’ve been waiting for that paycheck for a long time and now it’s finally here and you go down to the shops especially to pick the book up. When you get home, you set it down on a shelf, anticipating the perfect time to consume it all in one go. And when that time comes, the book slips from your trembling hand as you lift it off the shelf. It falls the the floor and it’s open, on the final page. You read the three paragraphs of confused words in a state of limbo knowing you’ve just, in a matter of seconds, ruined the 400 pages of tantalising build up. They may as well be smothered in gallons of water, the ink running into pools of wasted pleasure. But you pause, turn to page one and begin to read.

Clementine and Joel know the likely outcome of their relationship. They know the irritation and annoyance and change they will bring to each other by the end. But they choose to enjoy the ride. The journey is worth it.




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