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 of Joel(Jim Carrey), is the first to have theprocedure done. Joel doesn’t find out that she has the procedure done until he has an oddencounter with her at the store. He sees Clementine at the store and he begins to talk to her, butshe acts as if she has no clue as to who he is, or have any kind of recollection of their relationship.Joel doesn’t understand why Clementine acts as if she doesn’t know who he is, and they use to bea couple. Dismayed and confused, he then consults with two mutual friends of theirs and explainsto them what had happened. After listening to what had happened to Joel, one of the mutualfriends begins to explain to him that Clementine had a procedure done to erase all memories ofhim and their relationship. Joel is completely thrown off guard at first, but then he finds himselfgoing to that same doctor to see if he can get some information about Clementine and theprocedure. After learning how it works, Joel makes the decision to have the procedure done also.Unfortunately, half way through the procedure Joel realizes that he still loves Clementine and doesnot want to erase memories of her. The technicians are erasing his memories of Clementine one Morris 2by one, while he is in a dream-like state which is altering between reality, the past, and the future.
In the end Clementine and Joel meet again, and both listen to the tapes they received in the mailwhich contained their confessions about each other before the procedure. Neither Joel norClementine understand why the other person was talking so badly about the other person. Despitethe fact that they know the relationship could end up badly again they decide to give it another try.The film demonstrates how technology can be deceiving and give people options in the beginningthat 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. First and foremost, I would have to agree that technology can be deceiving and givepeople options in the beginning that look good, but in the end only leave them to regret theirdecisions. In the film Joel and Clementine demonstrated this by using technology to help them stopthinking about each other, after their relationship had ended. Joel states in the film “I loved you onthat day. I love this memory“, and this was the point where he realizes that he still loves her anddoesn’t want to continue the procedure to erase the memories of her. In the beginning, the minderasing procedure looked like it could be the perfect answer to his problems, but this was not thecase, due to the fact that he realized the procedure is not what he really wanted. In the event thatthis was a real procedure available to people, I believe many people would jump at the idea of it.The procedure would make it possible for people to forget completely about painful relationships, Morris 3possible deaths of loved ones and tragic events. The procedure could be good in these ways, but itcould have some downfalls also as demonstrated in the film. In the real world, if someone was tohave the mind erasing procedure done and they end up changing their mind like Joel did,
unfortunately there is still no turning back. Although the procedure would help you forget badthings, it also would not allow people to remember good times either. Sometimes it’s hard to forgetor stop thinking about bad memories, but thinking about the good memories can sometimes be allsomeone needs to feel better. One final example of how technology can be deceiving, includesthings like cosmetic or plastic surgeries. People go through cosmetic and plastic surgeries becauseit is an option if they do not like something about themselves. Although this is an option that lookslike a quick way to solve physical problems, there are times when things have gone wrong withcosmetic and plastic surgeries that caused people to regret it. There are times when peopledevelop cancer after the procedure, there are times when people never fully heal, and there aretimes when people even die from the plastic surgery procedures. The main point is that thesethings looks like the easy way out and a easy way to happiness, but so many things could gowrong and make that great decision turn into a regretted one. 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 when Morris 4people 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 ofthis, but they still use it and sacrifice their health anyways. People are willing to risk their health forall kinds 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 have
technology 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 ofbeing played in reverse chronological order. I would definitely watch it again though. Morris 5 Dir. Michel Gondry. Perf. Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, and Tom Wilkinson. Universal Pictures. 2004. Film