I first heard of the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” back when I was watching the Academy Awards in 2005 (you can tell I’m not very into films at all). Afterwards, I saw some favourable reviews from reading blogs and etc. from others. I didn’t get to watch the film until earlier tonight. I am actually glad that I watched it tonight instead of a year ago, since I think the film can really be appreciated only if the viewer had actually experienced a break-up. This film is about erasing memory of a relationship, afterall.
While the concept of physically removing memory from the brain is impractical in reality (given that it is possible to erase some memory, what do you do with the “holes”?), I think it is used to depict when a person broke up with his/her ex-, sometimes there’s an urge or desire to go out of his/her way to “get him/her out of his/her life” (i.e. by forcing himself/herself to change his/her habits so that he/she won’t be reminded of the ex-).
It is also interesting that the memories in the film were erased from the most recent (arguments that lead to the break-up and the break-up itself) to the oldest (the sweet times that the protagonists had together). I guess as the anger and fustration fades away in time, the good memories would remain, hopefully.
I’m always of the opinion that one should not try to deliberately abandon certain memories, because the past experiences, good or bad, form the basis of the identity of a person. I am who I am because of what happened in the past. People should always move on and look to the future, but there’s a difference between accepting the past, learn from it and move on or just simply running away from it.
On the IMDB message board, I saw some complaints about the film is too difficult to follow. Well, I guess it would be kind of hard to follow for people who like action-packed movies with a straight-forward plot. I was a little confused at the beginning (I would like to think the director wanted it that way :p), but I stayed with it and things became clear and understandable (although admittedly I still missed a couple points, after reading some discussion). I actually like films which does not tell the story in a totally chronically straight-forward manner, such as Memento, 冷靜與熱情之間, 玻璃之城, 心動, 男人四十, to name a few.
Wow, a long post. :p In closing (this post is long enough that it requires a closing, haha), I would like to re-introduce (or to introduce for some of you) an old but excellent song from Eason Chan, which is related to the theme of the film.