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  1. 1. Morris 1Michelle MorrisFebruary 20, 2012ENG 101Bolton Technology, the Deceiver and the TricksterThe film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a movie that shows how technology cansometimes be a bad answer to problems, and how people are very dependent on it. The moviefocuses on a couple that undergo a procedure to erase the memories of each other and theirrelationship. Clementine (Kate Winslet), the girlfriend, is the first to have the procedure done. Joel(Jim Carrey) doesn’t find out she had the procedure done until he has an odd encounter with her atthe store. Joel sees Clementine at the store and he begins to talk to her, but she acts as if she hasno clue of who he is or of their relationship. Joel doesn’t understand why she acts like she doesn’tknow him and they just broke up. He then consults with two mutual friends of theirs and explains tothem what had happened. The friends hesitate at first, but then they explain to him that Clementinehad a procedure done to erase all memories of him and their relationship. Joel then decides tohave the procedure done also, but half way through the procedure he realizes that he still lovesClementine and does not want to erase memories of her. The technicians are erasing hismemories of Clementine one by one, while he is in a dream-like state which is altering betweenreality, the past, and the future. In the end Clementine and Joel meet again, and they listen to thetapes they both received which contained their confessions about each other before the procedure,but neither one of them understands why they talk so badly about one another. Despite the factthat they know the relationship could end up badly again they decide to give it another try anyways.The film demonstrates how technology can be deceiving and give people options in the beginning
  2. 2. Morris 2that look good, but in the end only leave them to regret their decision later. The film alsodemonstrates that people will sacrifice anything for a new piece of technology. I agree with thefilms argument that technology can be tricky and give people options that look good at the time butonly make them regret their decisions later. I also agree that people are willing to sacrifice anythingfor a piece of technology. By all means, I would have to agree that technology can be deceiving and give peopleoptions in the beginning that look good, but in the end only leave them to regret their decision. Inthe film Joel and Clementine demonstrated this by using technology to help them stop thinkingabout each other, after their relationship had ended. Joel states in the film “I loved you on that day.I love this memory“, and this was the point where he realized he still loved her and didn’t want tocontinue the procedure to erase the memories of her. In the beginning the mind erasing procedurelooked like it could be the perfect answer to his problems, but this was not the case due to the factthat he realized the procedure is not what he really wanted. In the event that this was a realprocedure available to people, I believe many people would jump at the idea of it. The procedurewould make it possible for people to forget completely about painful relationships, possible deathsof loved and tragic events but it could have some downfalls also as demonstrated in the film. In thereal world, if someone was to have the procedure done and they end up changing their mind likeJoel did, unfortunately there is still no turning back. Although the procedure would help you forgetbad things, it also would not allow people to remember good times either. One final example ofhow technology can be deceiving include things like cosmetic or plastic surgeries. People gothrough cosmetic and plastic surgeries because it is an option if they do not like something aboutthemselves. Although this is an option that looks like a quick way to solve physical problems, thereare times when things have gone wrong with cosmetic and plastic surgeries that caused people to
  3. 3. Morris 3regret it. There are times when people develop cancer after the procedure, there are times whenpeople never heal, and there are times when people even die from the plastic surgery procedures.The point of it all is that all of these things are possible and all of these would cause someone toregret their decision. Furthermore, I also agree with the film that technology is only advancing and people arewilling to sacrifice almost anything for it. The part of the film that demonstrates this is where the Dr.and Joel have the conversation about the procedure before it’s actually done on him. He explainsto Joel that the procedure works by actually causing brain damage. Despite the fact that Joel knewthat he was taking a chance of anything happening because he is messing around with his brainfunction, he proceeded with the procedure anyways. A real life example of this could be whenpeople use steroids to help their performance in sports or for body building purposes. Usingsteroids can have all kinds of different effects on the body, and much of the users are aware of this,but they still use it and sacrifice their health anyways. People are willing to risk their health for allkinds of things that are unnecessary so if they would jeopardize health to look good then manypeople would probably risk brain damage to feel good. People will sacrifice so much to havetechnology make us worry free, to make them beautiful or look a certain way and to try andbecome what they feel is perfect, but in reality, sometimes technology will only make things worse. Overall, Eternal Sunshine in the Spotless Mind was a good film. The film showed us howtechnology can look like it is the best answer for us at the moment and later it can just cause us toregret a decision. The film also shows how people are willing to sacrifice anything for a new pieceof technology. It also was a very interesting film to watch, despite the sometimes confusing scenesthat switch between realities, what’s happening during the procedure and the future. It also is moreinteresting because it makes the brain work to put the pieces together due to the movies twist of
  4. 4. Morris 4being played in reverse chronological order. I would definitely watch it again though.
  5. 5. Morris 5Dir. Michel Gondry. Perf. Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, and Tom Wilkinson. Universal Pictures. 2004.Film