Sunday, March 13, 2016

Eyes Wide Shut

Movie Name: Eyes Wide Shut
Year of Release: 1999
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson, Rade Serbedzija, Todd Field, Vinessa Shaw, Fay Masterson, Leelee Sobieski, Thomas Gibson, Peter Benson
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis & Review:
Stanley Kubrick's final film, which made its official debut a few months after his passing, arrived shrouded in secrecy, as was his wont with most of his productions. The film is an adaptation of a novel by Arthur Schnitzler and follows the story of a married couple, Bill and Alice Harford, and more specifically, of how their longings and secret desires can lead them to unexpected places. One evening, when Alice describes to Bill some of her sexual fantasies, she sets off a reaction in him, one that mixes surprise, jealousy and excitement. Following that revelation, Bill goes off to answer a house call from a patient, and afterwards he embarks on an adventure seemingly to fulfill his own sexual fantasies, but he meets a diverse array of people in some progressively disturbing scenarios.
"Eyes Wide Shut" currently holds the record for the longest constant movie shoot, lasting roughly 15 months. Kubrick always had a reputation for his perfectionism, and that was again the case with this film, which made some actors be recast, and further delaying the planned shooting period. The film is however, a probe into the relationship of a married couple, and of how their fantasies can wreak havoc and initiate mistrust amongst them. The film is a cold analysis of the pain of jealousy and mistrust, but in the hands of Stanley Kubrick it becomes more about Bill's long adventure into the night (much like Alice in wonderland's rabbit hole, but in this case, a decidedly dark and highly sexualized rabbit hole, from which Bill barely escapes unscathed). Kubrick's attention to detail can be seen everywhere, and probably because of it, the film almost comes across a bit artificial, however, it fits nicely with the odyssey that the main character is put through. The two lead actors are quite strong, particularly Nicole Kidman who uses her icy facade to showcase the inner erotic turmoil that dominates her. A good film worth watching.