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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Autumn 2004

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind movie review

Oh, Blessed Forgetfulness

A man discovers that his eccentric ex-girlfriend has had all memories of him and their time together removed. He retailiates by seeking a similar treatment.

There are many ways that this premise could play out, unfortunately the choices made by the film-makers are strange, but not really entertaining or enlightening.

This film is of a particular smaller-film genre that this reviewer is frankly bored by. The characters are almost universally ego-centric and badly behaved. Driving a story by persistent and unrepentent ill-behaviour is dreary. Who really cares if bad things happen to people when they are behaving badly?

Movie poster, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Festivale film review

The cornerstone of tragedy is that it comes out of a basic flaw in character, something more compelling that childish self-centredness. Therefore this is not a tragedy. Especially it is not a tragedy because there is no real scope, the consequences of this couple erasing their memories is minor.

The surrealilty of the erasure experience, the intercutting of flashback and so on might be interesting, but the idea palls quickly in the execution. Don't be fooled, this isn't a comedy, and it's not fascinating.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 15 April 2004
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

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Just the facts:

Title: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Written by: Charlie Kaufman (story) & Michel Gondry (story) & Pierre Bismuth (story) Charlie Kaufman (screenplay)
Directed by: Michel Gondry
rating: M
running time: 108 mins

The Players: Jim Carrey,

Official website:
IMDb entry

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