Thursday, December 02, 2004
The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Terminal
Over the last two nights I watched "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" and "The Terminal" and was struck by how they represent all that is good in film and also all that is horrible. Let me say right off that there is very little wrong with "Eternal Sunshine", it's almost perfect actually. If you've ever had a relationship in your life that didn't end the way you wanted it to you'll respond to this film. And also if you're in a relationship right now that you never want to end, you'll respond to this film. It's about the joy of discovering a new person and a new love and then the horror of losing it all. The gradual disintegration of a relationship, the erosion of love and the realization that someone else's love and compassion can't save your life but it can make it that much sweeter. The film is also daring and original and surprising and a revelation of pure filmmaking. On the flip side of this is "The Terminal", which save for a beautiful performance by Tom Hanks, technical expertise of Steven Speilberg and Janusz Kaminski, the production design and a brilliant score by John Williams sits as a cookie cutter confection that is over sweet and too sentimental. "The Terminal" is a perfect example of how important supporting characters are, because as they fail so fails the film. The characters played by Catherine Zeta Jones and Stanley Tucci are written too poorly and come off so cartoonish that anytime they are on screen the movie changes into a lame TV dramedy. In the end these things can't be forgotten and ultimately the film suffers. So as I sit back and muse on these two very different pieces all I can wish is that more movies like "Eternal Sunshine" are made and that Senor Speilbergo starts making films like he used to.