Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

23 06 2013

As I am sitting here watching this film, it occurs to me that I haven’t done a review in awhile.  With that be said, I think that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is hands-down the best artistic performance of the careers of Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet thus far.  Seriously.

What drew me to this film is that I am a huge fan of both Winslet and Carrey.  I have followed Carrey’s career since literally infancy, and Titanic is one of my favorite movies.  Additionally, I am drawn to this movie because it is from one of my favorite production companies, Focus Features.

When I first saw this movie for the first time, I’ll have to admit that the above reasons are the only reasons I watched that movie.  But I am happy to say that there are different reasons that I view this film today.

If you are not familiar with the storyline of the film, the film tells the story of a couple who have broken up, and they have their memories of their time together erased.  This film is the journey of them finding each other in their memories again.

When you first view the film, one of the most stunning contrasts of this film to everything else I’ve seen.  The camera angles are simply inspired, and it gives you that “indy” feel to films.  It doesn’t always have the best lighting, it doesn’t always have the best sound, but it has an sort of odd “feel” to viewing the film.

But the coolest element of this film is that it has a larger message than many of the films we find in mainstream popular culture.  In this film, the question of whether it is better to forget the memories because of pain, or keep them for the pleasures they have brought.  In addition, it speaks about the value that people have in our lives, and how their departure from our lives can really have an impact upon our lives.

Like I said before, the performances of Jim Carrey and Kate WInslet are simply inspired.  More commonly known as a funnyman, Carrey takes a very serious role and performs very well.  I literally believe the emotions he is experiencing on screen and the motivations behind each action.  Carrey plays Joel, a man who is very reserved, and socially awkward, from my understanding.  Joel encounters Clementine, played by Winslet, who is quite his polar opposite.  She is irrational, outgoing and rather “out-there” so to speak.  She makes the decision to wipe Joel out of her memories rather abruptly and sudden.

We travel with Joel through the process he takes as he follows her through this process of having his memories wiped.

Is it better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all?

This film strives to answer this question and it pulls it off rather effortlessly.  I highly recommend this film to anyone who wishes their media to make a comment about the reality of humanity, human heartbreak and love itself.  It makes the conclusion that the good memories you make in the process prior to the heartbreak….they may be worth more to you one day than the heartbreak itself.





Review: Silver Linings Playbook

1 06 2013

So, I just watched this film tonight.  Image

I have to say that hands-down, the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.  Seriously.  Seriously!  (Okay, I feel like I’m channeling Izzie from Grey’s Anatomy.)  But seriously.  If you haven’t seen it, you should stop reading, go get it and watch it.  Fo’ shizzle.  Anyways, I don’t know what took me so long, but I am now here, able to talk about the amazingness of the film.

First, the storyline.  It’s rather interesting.  You’ve got a guy, whose wife cheated on him, which resulted in him beating the literal crap out of the affair guy.  Which ends up in him going to a mental hospital.  He gets out and he has to figure out how to live his life beyond that.  He meets a girl and she’s just as crazy as he is, and they have to figure out how to live life the way they are.  There’s more stuff, but eh, that’s the majority of it, without giving some spoilers.

A moment on the deeper issues here:  it seems like we are seeing  a trend in our entertainment venues, that the entertainment is no longer for pure entertainment values, but for a reflection value on who we are as people.  I mean think about it, we are mental beings.  We are.  So it stands to reason that we should eventually have movies and plays and music that appeal to the mental side of us, that make us think about the ways that we respond.

I think the story resonates deeply within me because I have had such an experience with people who have issues that plague the mind.  I have OCD.  I have friends who have struggled with bipolar issues.  I deal with grief.  It’s rather refreshing to see them on film and them not being presented in a way to make fun of them, but to reveal the reality that these people have to live in.

Jennifer Lawrence is rather stunning.  If I wasn’t a big fan of her before, I sure am now.  I am excited to see where she’s gonna go in her career.

So, yes, go watch this.  Because you should, and because it’s awesome.  And who doesn’t like a lil’ falling in love every now and again?  😉

Peace.





Eat, Pray, Love…..another Review

17 11 2012

So, I have just recently finished reading the book Eat, Pray Love by Liz Gilbert.  For the like fifth time.  The more and more I read it, the more and more I see common elements and sometimes, people that are already in my life.  It’s such a wonderful read.  You take the journey with Liz, a divorcee who consistently throws herself headfirst into relationships, only to lose her identity of self, once she’s fully immersed into someone else.  Liz takes a journey, to find pleasure, devotion and balance.  In Italy, she finds pleasure in friendship, wine and especially good food.  She learns the beauty of doing nothing, and observes relationships as they should be lived out, partnerships of support and devotion.  In India, she goes to an ashram, a seclusion space, to where she practices the ancient art of meditating, and through that spiritual practice, learns to let go of her past.  It is only when she is able to let go of her past that she finds out who she is.  Then she ends the journey in Bali, the third I.  Bali is in Indonesia.  It is at this place that she tries to learn to balance the two, and seeks the help of an old medicine man, Ketut, who teaches her to smile, even in her liver.  There, she meets the man that she will eventuallly choose to spend time with, and to love.  She did not intend on falling in love in Bali, it just happens, because after all, everyone has a love affair in Bali.  That is basically the story of Liz, as she presents it in Eat Pray Love.

So what? 

What does Liz Gilbert’s story have to say to all of us?  Why is it such a popular book?  Why am I even mentioning this work?

I think the reason Liz Gilbert’s story is so popular is because it reflects something that we all need to learn.  I think the reason I admire her so much is that she was able to realize she had a need that she couldn’t fill with another person, but that she had to displace herself to find herself, to get back in touch with the innate person of who she is inside.  I think the reason I adore her work is because I can understand the desperation, to get back what was lost due to the passage of time. 

For the past year or two, or maybe a million, I have spent my time living a life of just going through the motions.  School drove me on.  My relationships continued or they didn’t.  But inspiration, hunger and thirst for an exciting life was gone.  Passion, non-existent.  Just rational.  Just going through the motions, and pretending to be still engaged and excited and passionate about whatever it was that I was doing.  I graduated high school and college.  And I’m just living life. 

Recently, it seems like some really significant people in my life have experienced some shifts in their lives.  And those shifts in their lives have really called them to question some pretty significant things.  It seems like relationships are ending and it seems like lives are re-beginning all over again.  It’s crazy, to be on the sidelines, watching this all go on.  Because in a sense, I have finally got to a place where my life isn’t falling apart every three months.  I’m Christmas shopping already!  I wash my dishes.  I mop my floors.

It wasn’t so dramatic as leaving the world and love that I knew to go find myself.  But i think it was in washing dishes, making a life for myself, living life with friends, learning how to cook…the basics, in order to find growth and contentment in me, and who I am.  Maybe not everyone needs a life-changing moment to redefine their lives.  But maybe it’s the learning to live life that teaches you how to have a life that is full. 

Liz Gilbert’s story tells us that we must find that serenity and peace in who we are before we ever start to figure out how to live in harmony with others. 

Part of Liz’s journey involves God.  Well, all of it does.  As a westerner, we pride ourselves on being able to fully label what is God’s doing and what is not.  Like Liz, I am hesitant to label myself as a Christian, because that label carries many connotations that don’t really communicate what I am.  There’s more to me than just the fact that I believe in God, but I am open to God moving in more ways that just in the “Christian” label.  She goes to a place where Hinduism is the chosen religion, into an ashram led by a Guru who is decidedly not Christian.  And the thing I really love here is that she doesn’t try to label something as evil or as not from God just because it doesn’t fit the Western criteria.  I remember there was one time where I was trying to volunteer with some friends, and there was a group of people who renounced our efforts because we refused to put it under the “Christian” title.  They said that anything that’s not done in the Lord’s name is futile and worthless.  But so is pooping.  I’m sorry, I don’t poop in the Lord’s name, that’s just not called for.  😉 

I like the fact that she’s open to whatever the universe or God has to say to her and teach her, that she doesn’t put these restrictions and ideas of what she thinks God has to do or be in order to teach her.  My way of communicating with God and myself is through journaling.  It’s an important spiritual practice.  There was a very important person in my life that claimed that because the spiritual being that I was communicating with wasn’t telling me that certain things were bad….this person claimed that I was overtaken with a demon or an evil spirit, and I should quit journaling.  All because this person is not open to God moving in unusual and peculiar ways.  That hurt really badly.  Because I have realized, that at the very moment you define God, you have made God into something that God is not.  Think on that.

This book puts me into a reflective spirit, and I am very grateful for that.  I recommend it to anyone.