‘Relax… this pot is making you aggressive…’ – Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Good morning/afternoon readers! How are we all today? Recovered from the loss of sleep from the clocks going forward? I know I haven’t!
Todays review will be slightly different – I’ve been watching a lot of movies recently, but none of them have been ‘comic book appropriate,’ so I thought screw it, let’s just talk about something I’ve been watching! I mean… at least it’s an adaptation… right? Without further ado, let’s talk about Eyes Wide Shut.

Warning – this review is not for minors, 18+ please! 

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The Movie Poster – Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999

Eyes Wide Shut is an erotic drama (quote wikipedia on that one, not me) based on Traumnovelle (Dream Story); written, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick (fun Kubrick fact – he lived in a manor house incredibly close by to where I am). It was the last movie he ever worked on, making it a pivotal movie for me – I’ve watched a few Kubrick films now, and his style has changed throughout. Like other Kubrick adaptations, this film verges so far from the book it’s barely the same anymore, but significant plot points are not omitted. I find it very interesting that Kubrick hired Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise to be his main characters, these two were a married couple at the time of this film – and definitely adds to the sexual tension of the piece. Throughout, we have callbacks to it’s original setting, with the use of old Victorian buildings etc.
The narrative follows the sexually charged adventures of Bill, a medical doctor , who is shocked when Alice his wife, says she had contemplated having an affair a year earlier – which is shown in the first few moments of the movie. Bill is called away during a party, leaving his wife to the hands of another man who gets her slightly too drunk. Extremely upset Bill embarks on a crazy night, in which he infiltrates a massive masked orgy of an underground secret society.

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The weird mask things – Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999

One issue I always have with Kubrick’s work is how long his films are. When he was writing them it was shocking to have a movie over 2 hours long, and (according to my select button) this movie is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. There’s got to be a lot of this movie that’s pretty superfluous, it goes on a little bit too long. I’d have struggled to sit through it in a movie theatre/cinema that’s for sure.
I also have a real issue with Bill’s first port of call to be “cheat on wife with prostitute.” Learn to talk things out with your wife dude! You’re married with a kid! Whilst I admit that what she did was wrong, she didn’t kiss the naval officer, whereas he instigated an affair with a prostitute. At least it didn’t go further than a kiss. It makes me laugh that the way that Bill gets into one of these crazy parties is by wearing a tux with a hood and a mask, talk about weird!
The Master of Ceremonies bit is weird, the constant imagining of Alice having sex with another guy is weird – the whole movie is weird. And I think that’s it’s appeal. It’s weird, because it’s Kubrick, but at the same time it’s weirdness is alluring. I want to find out what happens in these underground sex cults, whether it’s true or not (I presume not), and it makes me want to keep watching.  I will watch any of Kubrick’s work any day, which I will finally get around to doing soon!

Eyes Wide Shut is classic Kubrick weirdness, but honestly I loved it for that. His distinct directoral stance can be seen throughout; the sex scenes reminded me a lot of A Clockwork Orange (which I also loved and thought was crazy).

Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? Are you a fan of Kubrick? I’d love to chat about him with you all! Leave a comment down below! 

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