Tuesday, 24 December 2013

☼ Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ☼

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot. 
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;"

Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope -
a tragic love affair, where forgetfulness is the heroine's only comfort.

Today I watched the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind after so long of really wanting to and seeing lots of little scenes from it on tumblr. And I feel like despite all the hyping up around the movie, I wasn't disappointed. I felt like the cast was absolutely perfect, Jim was Joel and Kate was Clementine and I couldn't think of anyone else that would fulfill those characters in the same way they did. 

I had always really liked Clementine before I watched the movie from what little information I got about her. She really liked having her hair all sorts of insane colors and I loved that. She was impulsive and disorganized and confused and I find it very amusing that she tells Joel about the misconception around her, which is exactly the misconception the audience carries with them throughout and after the movie. 

"Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked-up girl who's lookin' for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours."

She's just one of those characters that you feel are so all over the place, so alive and so vibrant. She's insane but that's what he loves about her and she doesn't want anybody to think she's just 'nice' because she feels like she's less than that and more than that and everything in between. She doesn't know what she wants but when she met Joel she did, she was certain. Despite her impetuousness, she is dedicated to him, she shares everything with him, she opened up to him and that takes a lot for someone like her. 

A lot of the conflict between them stems from the fact that they're very different yet so similar in the way they cope with things. She talks to him continuously and at one point he tells her that "constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating" after she complains to him that he doesn't talk to her enough. But the only reason they pick up on those things is because of how differently they approach the communication aspect of their relationship. She's the type to tell him everything as it whirls in her head and he is the more quiet, reserved type. It's normal, but they seem to argue over the fact that they're just different. Even though that's exactly what makes them so damn right for each other. 

At one point in the movie, Joel looks around a restaurant they were sitting in and thinks about whether they were becoming as dull as the other couples he feels bad for in restaurants and he says something that struck a chord for me; 

"Are we the dining dead?"

And that's just such a valid question.

There are so many people who are the living dead, in fact, which is a million times worse than a relationship getting a little dull and losing the spark. It makes me think of all the people who aren't actually living. They're breathing and going to work, they're thinking and talking and moving, but they're not alive. Their aspirations were filed along with the list of 'impossibles' they feel they'd never achieve and they're not ever taken out of that list for consideration. They get sucked into the motion of their daily routines and never take a break to ask themselves
Do I actually like my job?
Do I want to live here?
Do I want to be with this person?
Am I happy?
Do I want something to change?
Do I want to travel? Or read? Or write? Or become an astronaut
Goddamn it, just something. 

They never pause and it feels like all those questions never get brought up and never get answered and they end up dying eventually with a life record of nothing. They had all that time and they did nothing even though they really wanted to do so much. Everybody starts in that little position of hope and desire for a vivd future that made them happy, and then people change. 

Clementine says something that triggers something for me and reminds me of a conversation I had with someone about eye contact. This might sound completely irrelevant but Joel tells her "I can't see anything that I don't like about you." to which she responds with "But you will! You know, you will think of things. And I'll get bored with you and feel trapped because that's what happens with me." The way that links to eye contact is the fact that I cant hold close eye contact with certain people because of some sort of subconscious insecurity. I feel revealed and vulnerable and I don't like being in a position of weakness. Somehow the eyes revealing all sorts of insecurities or weaknesses linked a lot for me to somebody ultimately seeing what you're truly like. How messed up you could be and all the little ugly parts of you.

But on the other hand, it reminded me of just...me? I feel a lot like Clementine does, I get bored and I feel trapped with people or with places or with situations and I want to leave. That just happens with me and it's not the same scenario because I'm not talking about someone specific, it's more the fact that I do feel bored and trapped and sick of everything and a yearning for something bigger, something outside of wherever I am. And it's strange. It's not formulated yet in my head. 

And the last thing that hit me a little was this:

"We met at the wrong time. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. Maybe one day years from now, we'll meet in a coffee shop in a far away city somewhere and we could give it another shot"

And this linked in my head to the book I'm currently reading - "One Day" - and how the main characters stay in contact after meeting after their last day at uni, right before they're about to part and go their separate ways and the whole story, till now, seems to be this hope for a different ending. For another meeting along the line that might change things. That might make them see that they do "work" together, or that they make sense. 

I feel like the movie just linked to so much in my head, keeping me thinking about it long after it's finished. And I love it. I love feeling affected by something and finding out why it made me think the things it did or feel the things it did. 

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