freezing outside, and why he doesn’t appear to have written in his journal in over two years. All these things cause Joel to be confused, and at the same time the viewer feels the exact same sense of confusion. Another time when something similar to this occurs, is at the end when Clementine puts in her tape she received in the mail in Joel’s car, and you find out how she really felt about Joel and how unhappy she was with him because of the way he changed her. You learn how she felt at the same time that Joel does, and it is a very surprising and emotional moment in the movie. Joel continues to develop as a very round character that is complex, unpredictable, and is very hard to understand at times, especially in some of his actions. Like the time that he leaves Clementine’s house because he seems very uncomfortable as she flirts with him and lays her head on his shoulder. Then when he gets home, he immediately calls her on the phone and tells her that he misses her. That is just one example of an action by Joel that is hard to
understand. Joel’s unpredictable and very round character personality contributes a lot to the unpredictability of this film and is a major part that makes the plot so interesting. The key narrative element that makes this film so original is the way in which plot order is used to manipulate the viewer’s perception of time. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the story order is chronological, just like most all films; but the plot order is anything but chronological. As the viewer watches this movie for the first time, the plot is extremely confusing and difficult to understand what happening, and in what order things are occurring. This is because the plot skips around, with no warnings, to different times throughout the story constantly. Then once the memory erasing procedure begins, and the scenes of Joel’s memories begin, the plot becomes even harder to follow. The plot order begins towards the end of the story as Joel wakes up, goes to the train station in Montauk and ends up meeting Clementine for what seems like the first time, but it is actually the second time. As he drops her off to get a few things, the plot order then switches to the actual end of the story, where Joel is in his car crying and listening to his tape of his memories about Clementine. Then the plot immediately switches back to the
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- Fall '08