The Screening Room Reviews: “Eyes Wide Shut”

Rain pelts the windows of the KFHS Radio studio. The members of the Screening Room sit around a table and ponder what they have witnessed. Foxx Jackson sits, looking blankly at his mic, Mad Mike looks smugly at his cellular phone, something is amiss. DJ TV is nowhere to be found. Where is he? Are Mad Mike and Foxx aware of his absence? We may never know, as Mad Mike brings up the microphones and the intro music begins to play.

“Eyes Wide Shut”, directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the 1926 Austrian novella “Dream Story” was released in 1999. Taking place in 90s New York, “Eyes Wide Shut” tells the tale of Dr. Bill (played by Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice (played by Nicole Kidman). Dr. Bill embarks upon a serious of misadventures one night in the city after learning that his wife considered cheating on him. During his quest, Bill attempts to learn if he is capable of reciprocating his wife’s transgressions, while at the same time discovering dark secrets about New York’s social elite.

Mad Mike: “Eyes Wide Shut” is a perfect blend of Kubrick’s visual masterpiece as well as his ability to tackle complex issues in his films. Going into the film I knew almost nothing. After watching, I was shattered as this film haunted me for days afterwards. Not only does Kubrick explore themes that many directors dare not touch, he does so masterfully, leaving it ambiguous and open for interpretation. Casual moviegoers will most likely not enjoy this film, its slow pacing and dark themes may disturb or irk those looking for a more straightforward thriller or drama. However, if you enjoy analyzing films and entering the mind of a master, then prepare to be haunted and watch Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. DJ Mad Mike gives “Eyes Wide Shut” a “Buy It.”

Foxx Jackson: Stanley Kubrick was, in my opinion, one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) film masters of our time. Leading up to my viewing of “Eyes Wide Shut”, I knew it involved Tom Cruise stumbling across a cult and nothing else. I had simply assumed that this was the core concept of the plot, I had no idea how wrong I was. Kubrick tells a tale that centers around morality, sexuality, and social class. While there is always more to a Kubrick film that what meets the eye, this one managed to use symbols and imagery surprisingly relevant to its plot. The themes are captivating, and while some might take issue with the pacing, the dialogue between characters is engrossing. Both Kidman and Cruise (who were also husband and wife in reality at the time of filming) do an exceptional job portraying a marriage that has begun to decay. On a less positive note, my initial impression of the the film’s look was sub-par for  what I expected from a Kubrick piece. The vast majority of the lighting is grossly overdone. However, given time to think on it, the images age well and overtime one can appreciate the artwork only Kubrick is capable of. “Eyes Wide Shut” is film that needs multiple viewings in order to appreciate its complex themes and imagery. I would have to give “Eyes Wide Shut” a “Buy It” simply because if you enjoy it, you’ll want to watch it several times to appreciate its depth.

As always The Screening Room rates films on a scale of:

Buy It

Watch It

Pass

Burn It

Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” has been Screening Room certified as “Buy It.”

There are 3 thoughts on “The Screening Room Reviews: “Eyes Wide Shut”

  1. April 8, 2017

    The first time I saw “Eyes Wide Shut” was when it had just hit the theaters, and I left the theater kinda scratching my head.

    The second time I saw it, a couple of years later on DVD, I thought it was brilliant.

    Stanley Kubrick films are like that. They grow on you. And I saw that as someone who considers Kubrick one of his heroes. I saw “2001: A Space Odyssey” at the drive-in theater when I was all of nine years old, and it utterly changed my Universe.

    • April 8, 2017

      I watched this film a little while ago with my boyfriend and we disagree on its so called brilliance. I personally thought that this film lacked any direction whatsoever. I couldn’t help but feel like the director gave up on the plot all together and attempted to give his audience a film painted with artistic porn and semi- intellectual nonsense.
      The film spent two hours building up plots, but failed to deliver on any of them. There is a solid hour in the middle of the movie where I was left asking my boyfriend “What the heck is even going on?” The last hour and a half of the film was completely unnecessary to the relationship of the two main protagonists, which seems to have been the main point of the film. The film does however have unique and interesting thrills that…unfortunately were drawn out at times.
      The movie ended by leaving us with an insultingly poor script, where everything was forgotten, forgiven and plastered over. What really sucks is that this movie and “plot” had so much freaking potential! I see no masterpiece here, sorry. 

      • April 11, 2017

        DEAR REBECCA:

        I felt a little like you did when I saw the movie the FIRST time. I don’t know if you’d ever take a chance on watching it again, but you might want to do that in a year or two. Kubrick films do tend to get better on further viewing.

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