In the end memories are all we have, they are the justification of a life lived.
Joel Barish played by Jim Carrey, goes to work and comes home. Thats him, he doesn’t lead an interesting life. Joel decides to skip work one morning, it may seem like any ordinary morning, it’s not. He catches a train and goes for a walk along a snowy beach. Returning to the train station he meets Clementine Kruczynski played by Kate Winslet. She’s eccentric right down to her hair colour, the colour is ‘blue ruin’ if you were wondering. Like magnets, opposites attract. Wait! This isn’t the first time they’ve met. No, we quickly learn they were together for years before this. After endless fighting with Joel, Clementine had Joel’s memories erased from her mind. Joel unbeknownst to him goes to make up with her after seeing her at the bookshop she works at, but she is kissing an apparent new boyfriend. Heartbroken, Joel consults his friends who feel bad and tell him she had him erased. Joel even more devastated undertakes the procedure himself. Things get interesting while Joel lays in his bed, under sedation, as two goofy technicians spend the night erasing his memories. Joel walks through his memories of Clementine as he lets her go. He goes from the most recent to the beginning, very quickly he remembers how the memories made him feel, nothing was ever better. Those memories are special and sacred to him. He doesn’t want this anymore. He can’t even wake himself up to tell the technicians so he tries to hide Clementine in memories she doesn’t belong in. It’s no secret that Joel eventually ends up losing all his memories of Clementine. It’s the start of this review, and the start of the movie we see. The morning Joel woke up was the night after his Clementine erasure. Is it fate that these two people should end up together again? Being at the same place at the same time. Could things work out better for them this time around? The director Michel Gondry, known for making almost 80 music videos, brings a unique style to the film. This is especially seen as Joel’s memories progress. The deeper the erasers get, the more intense we see his memories peel away. He really has the characters play off each other very well. I thought the movie was just okay when I first saw the film a few years ago. Watching it again I see how beautifully woven the story is. I understand why Joel and even Clementine can come to use extreme methods of getting over their relationship with each other. Anybody that has suffered through a breakup can understand the nature of wanting to forget immediately after.
This is a different sort of love story, one that begs to embrace what was once the time of your life and not how bitter it ended. Luckily for these characters, fate dances the two together once again.
4/5 – Stars