Friday, February 10, 2012

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) review


SEX-The ninth and final of the favorite subjects of Stanley Kubrick as listed in the DVD booklet.

PLOT:Doctor William Hartford (Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) have been married a long time. When they're invited to a party by fellow friend Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack), they both reach a feeling of seduction toward other people. Nothing happens, but they confess their thoughts one night and it sends them on a wild trip into sexual desire and temptation, mainly William, who stumbles upon an erotic nightmare like nothing else. It's a very great and somewhat difficult idea to act upon, and Kubrick does a very good job of it, but it's not really the best.

ACTING:The actors must all have some kind of bravery to be in this movie considering all of the sex, so I give them credit for that already. But in performance, everyone was pretty good. Cruise played a convincing part of a man in uncharted want and struck some thought within me. Kidman also did a good job getting emotions across accurately. Pollack did a very convincing job as well. The only other true shiner was Julienne Davis as Mandy, though Rade Serbedzija did a decent job of Milich the costume shop owner.

SCORE:The score mainly contained one haunting piano theme that sent chills of mystery and anticipation down my spine. It's very distinguishing.

CAMERAWORK:This being Kubrick's last work, especially being on the edge of the modern world, it was still pretty detailed in the camerawork. It was not as detailed as his usual stuff, but it still managed to come off as visually pleasing.

OTHER CONTENT:This really is a close for Kubrick. It was almost like fate ended his career right at the perfect timing. What I believe is that Kubrick tried to go with something new and unique that has never been done before, but I don't think he really succeeded. Kubrick threw a stone into new territory, but it landed too far out of his reach. He wanted to be different and exotic, but this just ended up crossing the line between art and trash. The movie isn't complete trash though, for it is an interesting story, compelling mystery, and it kept me on the tips of toes to figure out what was happening and why. Sex is a delicate issue to film; it only takes so much to get it right. Kubrick tried his best and nearly succeeded all the way. Not only that, but Kubrick's works have his own feel to it. This one had a completely different mood and atmosphere that changed everything. It's almost like it has a mind of its own.

OVERALL,a good Kubrick film with well executed plot, very good acting, haunting score, and visually pleasing camerawork, but it goes to far to be considered true art and changes the feel of everything. This was a sufficient end for Kubrick, though he would've probably made more masterpieces if he had lived.

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