Classic Film Review: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

So I just finished watching Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut…

Eyes Wide Shut tells the story of Dr. Bill Harford, a New York doctor who, after a night of pot smoking with his wife, finds out that she has fantasized about other men. Over the course of the next two days, visions of his wife sleeping with another man haunt him, leading him to being invited to a sex cult by an old friend. After being found out by the cult, they try to silence him and the sins Harford commits haunt him till the end.

Now, there is a ton of baggage with this film because the final director’s cut was shown to Warner Bros. only days before Kubrick’s death. Censorship, whether or not Kurbrick liked the film, and whether or not this film was even a finished product.

Despite all that though, the film turned out good. A fascinating little character piece about infidelity and faithfulness in relationships.

Really good script, great characters and performances (Short and crazy jokes aside, Tom Cruise is a great actor and he was great in this movie), interesting imagery, neat cinematography, brilliant score (the eerie piano and organ music was perfect for maintaining the tension of the movie), etc.

Not that this is a bad thing, but I actually found this movie to be one of his more accessible movies. The story was rather straightforward, and it didn’t require that much thought compared to, say, Space Odyssey or The Shining. Anyone, from normies to film buffs like me, could easily get something out of it.

However, I did have issues with it:

1) Nicole Kidman’s character was utterly useless. She was a lifeless vessel for the themes of the movie, and she did nothing to progress the plot past first…20 minutes or so.

2) It wasn’t a big thing, but I found the passage of time in this movie to be…wonky. It’s supposed to take place over two days or so, but it felt like weeks had passed. Maybe if I just suspend some disbelief, it would buy it being a story over two days, but it just bugged me too much.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad note to end on. Kubrick left this earth having made another good movie, regardless of the controversy surrounding it. A master of the craft who’s legacy will live on forever. Recommended as a piece of film history.

8 out of 10.

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