Sunday, July 09, 2006

Eyes Wide Shut

A warning, I have yet to meet anyone who actually liked this movie, which is interesting because this ranks as one of my all-time favorites.

Eyes Wide Shut was the last movie directed by Stanley Kubrick, and I believe he died before it was finished. It casts Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as a married couple having difficulties. I'll give a quick plot summary without revealing any spoilers. Wife (Kidman) admits to her doctor husband (Cruise) that she had previous thoughts about having an affair. The relative of a dying patient makes a house call late at night, prompting the doctor to make a late night visit. What follows next are some of the most bizarre scenes you will witness. There is a surprising admission, encounter with a prostitute, a cult, an orgy, and many others. You'll just have to watch it to believe.

I remember the first time I saw this movie, I thought I sensed a pattern. That something out of the ordinary with a bit of shock value will occur on every extended scene. These scenes are played very realistically which I love. The dialog is slow but interesting. Every character has quirky nuances that will make you believe they are real. The music pounds you like a heartbeat, and if you're like me, soon you will be totally immersed in this film. You will feel like a part of it, perhaps seeing the perverse city through Tom Cruise's character.

This movie also raises so many interesting questions and dilemmas. I was very tense and frightened during the cult/orgy part, as well as the final scene with the mask. But I remember my companions in the moviehouse not being affected, even quite bored with it, and I was curious as to why it seemed I was the only one so affected by this movie. I guess having a big imagination helps.

The main character starts out very innocently, not knowing much about the city he is in. Yet he gets to see the best and worst of human nature after venturing out on his own. There is no violence or gore in this film, but I found some of the scenes a bit disturbing because of the different ideas that were presented. It was disturbing in a good way, as I felt I had been exposed to something out of the ordinary.

I also learned that this movie was based on the novel 'Traumaville' by Arthur Schtizner which was translated to english under the title 'Rhapsody: A Dream Novel'. This is one book I've got to read after I fully recover from Eyes Wide Shut.

The big mystery for me is why many people hate this movie. With other unusual films, I can understand why it can be boring or uninteresting to watch for some. But this to me has real hollywood entertainment value. It can be disturbing or slow, but not boring I think. This is that rare movie that stays with you long after you watch it.

Rating: 5/5 * * * * *
A classic dark adventure which will make you think


roehl said...

i watched this on vhs and the copy i rented did not have quality audio which was probably why i didnt understand the dialogue and the entire film as a whole. also, i was expecting some nudity that will really arouse me. i think i read somewhere that there was some high-profile nudity and sex in the movie. i even had this mind set that i was going to masturbate during or after the movie. but now i cant even remember if there was nudity. i guess this is one of those films that should be viewed in a real movie theater for full appreciation.

rob said...

I think a lot of people were disappointed because they were expecting more from Nicole Kidman. I blame the producers as they advertised it as a sort of sexual movie. Which it isn't, even with the orgy scene. This is really a dark adventure film.