An esoteric and erotic journey into the New York night
- Eyes Wide Shut review by PJ
Dr. Bill (Tom Cruise) and Alice (Nicole Kidman) Harford live in New York with their daughter, Helena. Bill is a well-liked doctor for the rich, who loves his wife and trusts her to be faithful. One evening, they are smoking cannabis together, when she tells him about an incident during a recent holiday, in Cape Cod, involving another man. Bill's trust in Alice is shattered. There follows an oniric and erotic journey through the dark New York night, through the soft underbelly of the city.
The film, adapted from a 1920s Austrian novella, is one of a kind. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it, although it did remind me of 'The Damned', the masterpiece by L Visconti. The atmosphere, mixing strange encounters, bizarre experiences, unsettling dreams and troubling memories, also reminded me of 'Mulholland Drive' by D Lynch. The film is about what happens when you leave your comfort zone -- the comfort of your set ideas and established relationships. Things become dangerous and unpredictable: it may be exciting, but it's also scary.
The acting is good, the characters (including the minor ones) are memorable, and the music is haunting. It is a great movie, atmospheric and disconcerting. You will think about it for days after seeing it. And there will be many unanswered questions. It all makes sense, and yet none of it does -- like life itself, presumably, in the eyes of S Kubrick who, uncannily, died a week after they had finished shooting the movie, I believe.
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