However, the Lacuna procedure effectively helped Joel and Clem remove the emotional hatred and negativity between the two, and start afresh, with the knowledge of each other’s imperfections. Since the surgery eradicated their memories of each other, their perceptions of each other were based off the recordings. They agreed to accept their faults and pursue a relationship, hopefully lasting through their imperfections this time around.
The film’s title suggests that when our memories are cleared, our minds will be at peace. However, this wasn’t the case for Joel because as he was undergoing this process of creating a “spotless” mind, he realized he would not gain this eternal sunshine and happiness, so he fought to hold onto these memories of Clem, because he would be happier with those memories, than without them. Lastly, the movie’s DVD case pictures Joel and Clementine lying on the frozen Charles River, near a large crack. This speaks of the movie’s central point about relationships. We often seek relationships to provide us with the comfort of intimacy and happiness, choosing to disregard the underlying weaknesses. However, once we uncover and accept each other’s weaknesses and faults, we can then build a strong, lasting relationship. Joel and Clem are pictured lying above the cracked ice, resting so peacefully because they supported each other and accepted the other’s weaknesses. Eternal Sunshine teaches us that our identities are made up of a multitude of things, such as our experiences and relationships. These are what shape our personalities, and if one experience were to be removed, our entire being would be affected. Additionally, fate is not enough to bring a couple together, or keep a couple together. Clem’s relationships with Patrick lacked truth and substance, while her relationship with Joel had it. Instead of trying to correct our lovers, or dismiss them and their imperfections, we must learn to accept them for who they are. Only then will we manage a lasting relationship. Eternal Sunshine stresses the importance of one’s memory, for our memory is a substantial component of our brain’s hard drive. Our memory is not an isolated part of our brain; our memory cannot simply be wiped out, however it can be reconstructed, as
seen in Clem and Joel’s relationship. Hopefully the two can now embark on a successful, accepting relationship filled with lots of love, and build wonderful memories together.
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- Fall '14
- Joel, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Clementine, Joel Barish