Quick Review: Eyes Wide Shut (1999, Stanley Kubrick)


RATING: 7/10

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sidney Pollack, Todd Field
Stanley Kubrick & Fredric Raphael (Based on the novella “Traumnovelle” by Arthur Schnitzler)

Synopsis: A successful Manhattan doctor, Bill Harford (Tom Cruise), roams the streets of New York when he discovers his wife Alice’s (Nicole Kidman) contemplation for infidelity. Disappointed with the news, he tests his limits as he discovers an underworld New York night life that may affect his life forever.

Quick Thoughts: 

1. When you watch “Eyes Wide Shut”, you can’t help but feel that it’s “Catcher in the Rye” for adults. As somebody who didn’t know anything about the movie until this day, I was shocked to see that there are certain elements that really reminded me of the novel. It was about a sheltered man who discovers a lot about himself because of one adventurous night in the big city. But apart from that comparison, the film stands on its own and is actually really great.

2. For me this was Tom Cruise’s movie. As a Nicole Kidman fanboy, I was surprised to find her rather over-the-top in the film. Her line delivery in the final scene was most memorable though. However, Cruise shows us a different side of himself here. He doesn’t have to speak much for the audience to feel his desperation and sexual frustration. This is perhaps one of his greatest roles in his very good filmography. Not the best, but one of the best. It was certainly tough to pull off. It was subtle but desperate.

3. Kubrick leaves film with “Eyes Wide Shut”, but it seems rather appropriate for Kubrick’s farewell film. I understand he died after showing the studio his final copy of the film, but I enjoyed the movie because it seems like everything Kubrick stands for in cinema. His vast filmography has been rather special and different from many other filmmakers, and “Eye’s Wide Shut” is no less a Kubrick gem. The way it was shot and scored also gave it a very “The Shining” (1980)-vibes.

4. Jocelyn Pook’s score was haunting and beautiful. Gave the movie a horror movie feel and it worked. Though it wasn’t about ghosts or murderers, but “Eyes Wide Shut” explored other horrors that deserved a terrifying soundtrack on its own.

5. Cinematography was sublim. For a film that wouldn’t seem so cinematic on paper, I must say the use of lighting in the film is gorgeous to look it. The Christmas theme the film followed gave the filmmaker’s the chance to use a lot of Christmas lights. They used it in a classy matter and it really brought a special light to every scene.

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