Eyes Wide Shut


"Am I sure? Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime, can ever be the whole truth."

From Eyes Wide Shut, 1999

Eyes Wide Shut was not understood by many people. Maybe it's because this film is deep and complex that people misunderstood it? Maybe it's because it makes the viewer experience different emotions and feelings that people were not willing to delve deeper?

It was released in 1999 and it is questionable how much of this film was actually a dream. It was based on the novel written by Arthur Schnitzler. It contains elements of drama, mystery, and thriller. Stanley Kubrick and Fredric Raphael wrote the screenplay. Sadly, though, Kubrick died before making this film and didn't get to put his last touches on this film.

Eyes Wide Shut movie is moving and touches the soul, but there is a surrealism about this film. Therefore, it makes the viewer question how much of this film is a dream or relaxationof the mind and how much of it is real? Maybe it is due to Kubrick not managing to put the final touches on this film that viewers will forever question the reality of this film.

Eyes Wide Shut movie is about a Doctor from the city of New York. Dr.Bill and his wife, Alice Harford, attended a Christmas party at their patient Victor Ziegler, both of them were tempted to get seduced – Sander Szavost against Alice and the two models against Bill. But both Alice and Bill resist against this temptation. Ziegler leads Bill to a bathroom where he finds a naked woman Mandy. She had been overdosed on speedball. Bill helps her to recover from the sedative attack and promises Victor not to speak out of this incident.

The next night, after smoking the sedative marijuana, Bill and Alice get into heated passionate conversation arguing about sexual desires and fantasies. Then Alice confesses that she had contemplated an affair with a naval officer. Meanwhile Bill receives a telephone call from a woman. The diseased patient’s daughter confesses that she would give up her life to be with Bill. But Bill resists and leaves out when the girl’s boy friend Carl reaches.

While wandering on the street he meets a woman Domino but a telephone call from his wife Alice stopped him from going to Domino’s house. Then he happens to be in Jazz club. There he meets Nick. Bill insists on having a costume and a mask.

He learns the location and the password. When he goes to hire the costume, he does not find his old friend but the new owner Milich. When he was about to hire the costume for $200, he discovers that Milich’s daughter, dressed as half naked was with two Japanese men, he gets angry and warns them that he would call the police.

Then Bill attends a party at Long Island Mansion. It was a venetian Carnival with a sexualized ritual. A woman warns Bill to leave, but he refuses. Bill is forced to remove his mask in front of the red robed ceremony master but is rescued by a mysterious woman. He is warned to keep silent.

At his returning home Bill finds his wife laughing in her sleep. When Bill wakes her up, Alice speaks about her nightmare of her sex with other men. The next night Bill goes to Nick’s hotel. He found Nick beaten up and mysteriously taken up by two men. When he went to return back the costume, Bill finds out that Mr.Milich was offering his daughter as a prostitute to the two Japanese men whom he had met the previous night.

Bill discovers that Domino is HIV positive. He also reads in the newspaper that the model Amanda had died due to a drug overdose. He discovers that Amanda was the woman whom he had helped to revive at Ziegler’s party. Ziegler reveals Bill that he was redeemed by that woman called Amanda. He warns Bill that the masked participants were the powerful members of the society.

When returning home, he finds his mask near Alice’s pillow. Bill breaks down crying. He wakes up Alice and confesses about his night journey. The next Christmas morning, Alice and Bill reconcile, and as the story ends here.

The resisting power of Bill, his victory over the temptation, and the paranormal that helps him rescue himself and his wife Alice from further harm are noteworthy, where the monogamy appears to be a myth and where polygamy appears to be popular trend.

There is quite a lot of sexual activity in Eyes Wide Shut film which might be distasteful to some. However, some people feel that the sexual activity was needed to add some interest to it. There was a lot of hype surrounding this film maybe to do with its sexual content. It was probably too hyped up compared with other films.

For many people this was simply a next big actor movie and people were not interested in Kubrick. Fans of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman flocked to the cinema for a viewing. Of course, the sexual content appealed to fans of Cruise and Kidman who wanted to catch a glimpse of them in action.

Kubrick wasn't trying to create a big name film that just attracted fans because of the actors. Kubrick wanted to create something a bit more subtle. However due to the big names in the film, the subtlety probably didn't work. Critics didn't give this film a fair trial either and perhaps this was to do with Cruise and Kidman starring in it. However, if you take a closer look at Kubrick's films from 2001 onwards then you'll note that all have been harshly critiqued. Furthermore, years later these films that were critiqued so harshly have become classics.

Kubrick did not try to portray an emotional touch with his audience. He was trying to portray something deeper, to get the viewer to think about the images, themes and the emotional intensities of the characters.

This subtlety is not usually shown in today's films, but critics don't seem to be able to understand subtlety. Therefore, years later it suddenly dawns on them what this film was about and how it made viewers reflect on the themes and images within the film.

Although there were sexual scenes, some people complained that there were not many. However, Kubrick never meant this film to be overtly erotic. Eyes Wide Shut DVD is not about sex. It is about looking at various other elements, some of which are very subtle.

Kubrick helps the viewer consider the institution of marriage, the strength of commitment, temptation and faith. It is a film that is deep and makes you think more about life. Furthermore, it is a complex look at our society today and it makes the viewer look beyond the surface.

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