之前已經看過Charlie Kaufman編劇的<Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind>及<Being John Malkovich>，一向覺得他的片很濃縮，需要集中精神，才可以看得明白。
- The burning house
Early in the film, Hazel purchases a house that is eternally on fire. At first showing reluctance to buy it, Hazel remarks to the real estate agent, “I like it, I do. But I’m really concerned about dying in the fire," which prompts the response “It’s a big decision, how one prefers to die." In an interview with Michael Guillén, Kaufman stated, “Well, she made the choice to live there. In fact, she says in the scene just before she dies that the end is built into the beginning. That’s exactly what happens there. She chooses to live in this house. She’s afraid it’s going to kill her but she stays there and it does. That is the truth about any choice that we make. We make choices that resonate throughout our lives."
- Miniature paintings and the impossible warehouses
Both Caden and Adele are artists, and the scale in which both of them work becomes increasingly relevant to the story as the film progresses. Adele works on an impossibly small scale, while Caden works on an impossibly large scale, constructing a full-size replica of New York City in a warehouse, and eventually a warehouse within that warehouse, and so on, continuing in this impossible cycle. Adele’s name is almost a mondegreen for “a delicate art" (Adele Lack Cotard). Commenting on the scale of the paintings, Kaufman said, “In [Adele’s] studio at the beginning of the movie you can see some small but regular-sized paintings that you could see without a magnifying glass … By the time [Caden] goes to the gallery to look at her work, which is many years later, you can’t see them at all." He continued, “As a dream image it appeals to me. Her work is in a way much more effective than Caden’s work. Caden’s goal in his attempt to do his sprawling theater piece is to impress Adele because he feels so lacking next to her in terms of his work," and added, “Caden’s work is so literal. The only way he can reflect reality in his mind is by imitating it full-size …. It’s a dream image but he’s not interacting with it successfully."
There are various instances of clocks throughout the film. The opening shot is that of an alarm clock, changing to “7:45″. There are about 6 more close-ups of clocks throughout, inserted as Caden notices them off screen, perhaps signifying his constant preoccupation with death and his desire to achieve something great before his end. Interestingly enough, the clock in the final scene, a drawing on a wall, reads “7:45″ – the same time as the clock in the opening scene. Perhaps this frozen clock marks Caden’s time of death, hinted at the beginning of the same scene with the narrator’s voice: “its seven forty three, now you are here. It’s seven forty four, now you are here. Now you are…gone."
- Jungian psychology
Many reviewers have compared the plot to Jungian psychology. Carl Jung wrote that the waking and dream states are both necessary in the quest for meaning. In the case of the film, Caden seems to exist in a blending of the two. Kaufman describes the dream motif, “I think the difference is that a movie that tries to be a dream has a punchline and the punchline is: it was a dream." Another concept of Jungian psychology is the four stages to the individuation process. Jung wrote about the need for self-realization, in which humans go through four steps: becoming conscious of the shadow (recognizing the constructive and destructive sides), becoming conscious of the anima and animus (where a man becomes conscious of his female component and a woman becomes conscious of her male component), becoming conscious of the archetypal spirit (where humans take on their mana personalities), and finally self-realization (where a person is fully aware of the ego and the self). In the film, Caden seems to go through all four of these stages. When he hires Sammy, he learns of his true personality and becomes more aware of himself. He becomes aware of his anima when he replaces himself with Ellen. In becoming conscious of the archetypal spirit, he takes on the role of Ellen and he finally realizes truths about his life and about love.
- Play within a play
It has also been compared to the music video for Icelandic singer Björk’s song Bachelorette. The music video portrays a woman who finds an autobiographical book about her which writes itself. The book is then adapted into a play, which features a play within itself. The music video was directed by Michel Gondry, who has worked with Kaufman before (directing Kaufman’s films Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). In an interview Kaufman has responded to the comparison, saying “Yeah, I heard that comparison before. The reason Michel and I found each other is because we have similar sort of ideas."