Eyes Wide Shut

Stanley Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut presents a fascinating, albeit slow-paced, look at what happens when the lines between fantasy and reality blur in the confines of a romantic relationship.

Dr. Bill Hartord (Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman, Cruise's wife) are an happily married couple, until they attend a party which culminates in Alice confessing to Bill that she has had a fantasy of having an affair. Angry, Bill seeks to get back at his wife and begins a bizarre surreal sex trip that leaves him stripped off his existential essence.

I think fantasies are healthy. In this particular case, the destruction of the relationship between Bill and Alice is caused by Bill not being able to delineate the line between fantasising about something and acting on it (the movie seems to have a happy ending, but that is not the most likely scenario in the real world). Alice's fantasies have caused no real harm, and perhaps her thinking about it as well has her expression to Bill only strengthened her loyalty toward him. Whereas Bill's actions had severe ramifications on the his life and the lives of those around him, in many different respects.

Kidman is sexy and the chemistry between her and Cruise is excellent. The two actors take up so much of the screen time that they necessarily have to make the film work, and they do. The score is excellent.

Kubrick died on March 7, 1999 and Eyes Wide Shut bears his mark of film-making (much popularised by films like 2001: A Space Odyssey). Some may argue that this film is a tired rehash of his once visionary ideas, but why mess with something that works? Kubrick's style, as I mention above, does make this film somewhat slow-paced, but I highly recommend checking out the final masterpiece of one of the most distinctive film-makers.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org