Thursday, November 7, 2019

Eyes Wide Shut

Okay, fine. This was the best one.

Yes Stanley Kubrick's last film is a wonderful and surreal piece of cinema that I personally feel is needing of more love. Shot over a record breaking (and still holding I believe) shoot of 400 consecutive days, Eyes Wide Shut is a bizarre movie but one I highly recommend regardless. Our story focuses on a married couple played by then real life married couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, who've hit a rough patch after disclosing some private and honestly rough truths about each other's love life, leading to a strange and surprisingly deep dive into their relationship and the most batshit freaky party quite possibly ever crafted in movie history. Now a lot of people have written this film off as just arthouse porn, but I couldn't disagree more with that, yes it fully warrants that R rating and nearly got a NC-17 rating cause God forbid you show a nipple even though all the more smutty scenes and topics couldn't be less erotic if they tried. The film is about a relationship and raises some big questions, is love truly equal, can love be pure lust and vice versa, what if you decided to do something to hurt your partner because you were jealous, should you feel guilty for thinking about other people besides your partner? While yes the case could be argued it is very much in the eye of the beholder, and I certainly have no issue with that, the film is very much more loose in terms of story progression and characters. Not to say they are horrible characters and the story is an absolute dumpster fire, but it's difficult to pinpoint. I felt the performances from our leads in particular Nicole Kidman were spectacular, and I know we can make jokes about Tom Cruise but honestly he handles the material with enough charm and understanding of drama to pull off a very good performance. The film's visuals are absurdly gorgeous, with colors so bright they practically glow, the camera glides and sways through the scenes, the film has a surreal dream like quality that can dip into sheer nightmare fuel when it wants to. I'm honestly and truthfully concerned about my dreams tonight. So the visual style and cinematography get 10/10 from me, if not even higher! The music combines lovely jazz pieces, wonderful classical compositions, and a quite chilling theme heard throughout the film. There was just so much to appreciate and love, and it floors me that the final cut was shown to the studio just 4 days before Kubrick passed away due to a heart attack. The man was a visionary director, who took on projects from all genres and sources and made unforgettable cinema, and while Eyes Wide Shut may not be my absolute favorite (that distinction goes to A Clockwork Orange) it hits the number 2 spot easily. A beautiful and marvellous looking film that took risks to show a struggling relationship in it's own entirely unique way. It reminded me a lot of The Graduate and how it brings up that not every relationship can have a happy ending, and that love is one of the most complex of emotions and can't be fully described. That's why I have seen so few romance movies that I genuinely loved, because there is depth and, complex and muddled thoughts and emotions that go into such a thing. This may have been a very brief review but this is a film you simply have to experience because talking about it no matter how much in depth cannot replicate the effects. Rent it, buy it, steal a copy from your movie buff friend, I don't care how just go see it. Stanley Kubrick, my hat is off to you. 9/10, 4 stars, a must see movie for any movie fan!

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