Thursday, September 01, 2005

Conflict builds character

Finally watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night, which I’d been meaning to get to for ages, it having been highly recommended by several trustyworthy sources. Loved Adaptation, which I’d been told it was quite like - though that isn’t actually true.

But bloody hell, that was a bit good. I can see why a friend was totally freaked, describing it as a very bad trip. Beautiful and sad, it really struck a chord – especially with the stupid, tetchy arguments-about-nothing getting between two people who really spark off each other. In fact, it’s so easy to identify with the Joel and Clem’s relationship, it’s little wonder the film’s so affecting.

The cast are all excellent. Jim Carrey’s consistently at his best when down-playing these constricted characters, unable to express themselves properly. It reminded me of him in both Man in the Moon and the Truman Show. Like Robin Williams, he’s absolutely brilliant when he can resist the obvious clowning around. Perhaps Carrey should sport a beard for his serious work, too.

Not sure the prologue works, though, with Joel and Clem meeting again as strangers. Were we meant to think that was them meeting for the first time, and I’m just being too clever? As it was, it gave away the resolution – that some vague recollection is spared.

But it’s a brilliant film, and incredibly unsettling. It’s not just the amnesiac procedure that’s invasive, the men conducting it prove to be equally, creepily icky in taking advantage of their patients.


Philip said...

I'm always told I should watch this and The Truman Show, but I absolutely loathe Jim Carrey. The only thing of his I've ever been able to sit through was Earth Girls Are Easy, and that's because he's barely in it.

Is he really so much more tolerable when he's being serious?

0tralala said...

Yeah, they're definitely both worth seeing. Proper, thinky sci-fi - though a lot of people probably wouldn't think of either as sci-fi at all. Which is a recommendation in itself.