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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ending loop.

spoiler

Just watched this masterpiece for the first time, and I was absolutely floored by it. So much to take in and appreciate. One thing I can’t get my mind off of though is the ending loop. We see the same scene of Joel and Clementine running across the snow three separate times in a row with the music repeating each time. Is this supposed to represent that they’re continuously making the same mistakes over and over again and are doomed to erase each other and find each other for the rest of their lives?

29 comments
81% Upvoted
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level 1
32 points · 2 months ago

That is totally a film that I wish I could experience for the first time again.

level 2
Original Poster67 points · 2 months ago

I heard there’s a procedure for a problem like that...

level 3
15 points · 2 months ago

Oh man that’s good!

level 3
[deleted]
5 points · 2 months ago

But you might regret having it done :/

level 4

You’re just gonna keep watching it over and over again, loving it at the end.

...wait

level 2

I saw this movie for the first time shortly after a break up. Pretty much killed me.

level 2

Saw it years ago at the behest of my girlfriend at the time and hated it. Maybe I need to give it another go...It was just Kate Winslet's character (from what I recall) was an absolute bitch.

Hits on the guy and showers him with attention and then utterly hates him...

level 3

This is hilarious. You seemed to have missed a critical part of the movie there bud!

level 4

Will definitely have to give it my full attention next time.

level 1

It is a loop and I think it’s beautifully tragic. They keep this cycle going, but they keep erasing the experience and never learn to grow together as a couple, choosing to bail-and-erase as soon as things get unpleasant.

I think this is also a criticism of the mind erasing. Everyone has had a breakup where they wish they could erase the relationship and not feel sad or lost anymore. But the movie’s ending says “you don’t learn anything that way”.

level 2

The ease of erasing compared to the difficulties of coping is a trend that is seen in Clementine in her drug use also. In particular the scene of here doing inhalants on the train as soon as Joel blows her off a little.

level 3

That’s just a menthol thing for clearing your sinuses

level 4

I don’t think it’s possible for it to be a loop because if you remember, Kirsten Dunst’s character mails every single one of the patients that underwent the procedure their tapes from the start of the procedure which I speculate would really change things for the entire operation. I really doubt that they could just “go back there” and have it done again after all that.

level 5

Yeah too many reasons it wouldn’t work

level 1

Yup. Beautiful.

level 2
31 points · 2 months ago

I got the impression that Kirsten Dunst ended up bringing the clinic to an end, after stealing the records and mailing everyone their tapes. Definitely had overtones of finality to it. Seemed to be showing KD breaking the loop.

level 3

The true saddest part of the movie

level 3

That's the impression that I had for the longest time. This thread is the first time I've heard about the "loop" and now I'm really wondering.... I always thought Joel's "OK" ended it on an optimistic note and like you mentioned KD sending out the packages closed the clinic.

level 4
5 points · 2 months ago

perhaps the loop was before the film? like it had happened a million times but this was the last one?

that doesn't make sense either since none of the employees are actually familiar with joel's house etc.

level 3

Sorry for replying to an old thread but jeez that made me so angry. These people willingly had memories wiped and she is now basically forcing them back into their life. That could potentially ruins someone's life. I know it did add to the story but still.

level 1

Watch Charlie Kaufman other movies. He's one of the most amazing screenwriters ever

level 1

If I recall correctly the director had intended for the loop to occur during the entire credits but some sort of regulation didn’t allow it so it had to fade to black to allow the credits to be seen. But yes, the general idea is that they continuously repeat their mistakes over and over.

level 2

Not sure about that, maybe it is true, but anyway, I also heard that originally it was supposed to show them aged as well. As elderly people, still falling for each other and erasing each other. And they had to change it so they kept the samr idea but with the ending we've got.

level 3
3 points · 2 months ago

yeah you can find the original script online, the ending was set in the future and you would have seen on (going from memory been a hot minute) a computer screen that clementine had been going to the clinic over and over to erase Joel, showing that they kept inevitably coming back together only to erase each other again and again

level 4

one must wonder, why noone ever told them.. and maybe they did, but just let it slide after so many erases.

level 3
[deleted]
1 point · 2 months ago

Flashback of Cobb and Mal growing old together in Inception, but in a way "erasing" this life by "waking up".

level 1
Comment deleted2 months ago(0 children)
level 1

Yep, I think you got it.

level 1

I don't think that's what literally would happen since Dunst character's action would pretty much put an end to the practice. But I think it's meant to show tragic cyclical nature of their love.

level 1

R u sure ?

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