Netflix Entertainment


Calli Noriega (10th), Editor

Recently, Netflix has added a new handful of movies and television shows to their library. One particular movie they added was “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind,”a film directed by Michael Gondry and written by Charlie Kaufman. The sci-fi/romance was released on March 19, 2004 in the United States and quickly became popular. The two successful Hollywood actors, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, were casted as the two main characters, Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski. Their characters help represent the elements of a psychological thriller and a nonlinear narrative, which explores the topics of memory and love.


The original idea for the making of this movie came from 1998 conversations between Michael Gondry and co-writer, Pierre Bismuth. Bismuth thought of the concept of erasing specific people from other people’s minds in a response to a friend who had been complaining about her boyfriend. He asked her if she would consider erasing that boyfriend from her memory and she said yes. Charlie Kaufman was presented with this storyline but didn’t start fully writing the screenplay until he finished his other scripts. Kaufman struggled with showing the memories, Joel’s reaction to the memories and Joel interacting with Clementine outside of the memories in the memories. Eventually, he found ways to resolve these problems. Originally, he had created an eighteen word long title since he wanted something that was different but he finally chose “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, a title that came from Alexander Pope’s 1717 poem “Eloisa to Abelard”.


The movie follows an alienated couple who have erased each other from their memories, but soon find themselves together again. In the beginning, Joel wakes up in his apartment but feels different that day. He wasn’t sure why but he decided to skip work last minute to go to Montauk, where he met an unusual lady with dyed hair and an eccentric personality. They felt as if they knew each other already, so they introduced themselves and instantly bonded. Their relationship was happy at first but slowly underwent a period of harsh honesty, lying, and overall negativity to one another. This resulted in a saddening break up and the decision to erase everything they have experienced together. 


People who have watched the film had their own interpretations on the two main characters and the general theme. A local woman who enjoys cinematography, Victoria Noriega, was asked “What is the overall theme of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and your interpretations on the two main characters?” She replied, “The overall theme was that you can’t necessarily undo the past. I loved the way the writer portrayed both characters and how he brought them to life. They were both relatable in their own ways. Joel was quiet and regretful after he found out that Clementine wanted to delete him. As he was going through the process, he idealized Clementine and was remorseful.” Another woman who has watched the motion picture, Robbi Waln, was asked the same question. Her answer was, “I believed the theme was that if you and someone are meant to be then you are meant to be, you will always find a way back to each other. The movie was a simple love story with two people who were in a complicated relationship. Both characters were very different and unusual but they were still attracted to each other.”


Many people have put themselves in the main characters’ heartbreaking situation and decided what they would have done differently or done the same as. A local man who also enjoys cinematography, Rigoberto Noriega, was asked “Would you ever consider erasing a specific person from your memories? Why or Why not?” He responded with, “No, I wouldn’t think about deleting someone from my memories because I need something to look back on and learn from. Experiences with different people could really impact your life and how you act. If you were to forget these memories of them, you wouldn’t have learned a lesson or changed yourself.” 

A man and woman’s perspective on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” have been presented and are taken into account. Their two perspectives are very significant because they show similar possible thoughts others have had. The movie’s main message was that memories are not something that you can delete or forget. Memories help make you who you are and show people that you have experienced something either tremendous or small.