‘Eyes wide shut’ was psychological rather than sexual
Some people think "Eyes wide Shut," which premiered 15 years ago, was a fitting ending for director Stanley Kubrick.
Some people don’t.
I saw a lot of Kubrick’s signature touches in the movie, and the story was very much in his style, if Kubrick had a style. Their films differed so much in content from each other that I suppose it is really not accurate to refer to their style in any context other than camera work.
He could do comedy, he could do satire, and he could do drama.
He had some reputation, as did the original material from his film, an Austrian novel, "Dream story" which was published more than 70 years earlier. "Eyes wide Shut" He dealt with the thoughts and personal conversions a Manhattan doctor experienced after his wife told him she had fantasized about having an affair.
Kubrick died shortly after the completion of filming.
I have never read the book, so I don’t know if the two are described in it as attractive or simple. I guess it doesn’t matter too much in a book, where a reader can imagine that the characters are anything the author hasn’t explained to them.
It is different in a movie. The appearance of a character leaves little to the imagination in a movie. If the book is not specific, and even if it is, the viewer must accept the appearance it is given in the film. Through the cast, the acting, the directing, even the story review, all the heavy lifting is done for the observer; Your images will be those created by the scriptwriter (s), director and actors.
At the casting of his film, Kubrick cast two actors in the roles of the husband and wife whose reputations for sexually charged performances preceded them: Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. At the time, they turned out to be husbands in real life, which probably raised their level of intensity in the movie. They broke up a couple of years later.
Anyway, the talk before "Eyes wide Shut" made his debut was that he was going to be a sexy movie. Given the nature of the trailers that have been showing in theaters, that’s certainly easy to understand.
But as I watched it, it occurred to me that Kubrick may have taken a page from Alfred Hitchcock’s playbook.
Hitchcock was known for his guest appearances in his films; When informed that audiences had been watching his cameo and didn’t settle for the story until they saw it, Hitchcock began placing his cameos earlier and earlier in his films.
In Kubrick’s case, the audience expected nudity, so I guess he threw a crumb at them. Audiences saw Kidman change clothes for a party very early (and very briefly) in the film.
To me, it was as if Kubrick was saying: "Okay, there’s the nudity. Now let’s focus on the story."
From what I could tell, the story was about jealousy and obsession.
(I’ve seen this movie at least six or seven times. I’m still not sure what it was trying to say. It seems to say something different every time I watch it.)
What was not the end of nudity, of course.
In fact, the story was about sex and arousal, as well as jealousy and obsession, and nudity as well, but nudity didn’t usually get viewers where they probably thought they were going. It may seem like an odd dichotomy, but sex and nudity don’t necessarily go hand in hand in movies, especially in a Kubrick movie. Nudity in "Eyes wide Shut" he was treated almost casually. So was the sex, for that matter.
Make no mistake though, there was a lot of nudity, and some sex too, but it was interesting that the next time the audience saw Kidman (just a minute later), she was decidedly doing something. not erotic (although some might argue that was intimate), sitting on the toilet, while Cruise put the finishing touches on his appearance.
And they talked like married people do. He asked about her hair. It looked good? He said it looked great. She said she hadn’t looked at him, so she did and repeated her compliment.
The night after the party, which was a good combination of significant moments and red herrings, Cruise and Kidman opened a joint and struck up a heartfelt conversation, in which Kidman told Cruise that he had fantasized about having an affair, with a anonymous naval officer. that he had seen while on vacation on Cape Cod a year earlier.
Kidman was drawn to him, like a moth to a flame. "If he loved me" he said to Cruise, "I would give everything." She expressed relief that one day he disappeared and never returned. It meant that he would not have to make that decision.
That mental image really lit a fire under Cruise, and he embarked on a two-night odyssey through New York’s sexual underworld.
The odyssey took him many places, and he didn’t have to look far to find opportunities to cheat on Kidman. Such opportunities found him.
He dabbled in them, was tempted by them, almost succumbed to them at times.
I guess this was what happened "Eyes wide Shut" Which I found especially fascinating: Cruise’s transformation from a snooty but noble sort of guy to a boundless sexual adventurer, all because his wife had told him she had fantasized about having an affair.
And yet …
He never gave in to temptation.
At one point, while arranging a costume for an orgy (which was organized by an unidentified secret society), Cruise met a young woman (Leelee Sobieski), the daughter of the costume shop owner. When Cruise returned the next day to return the costume, the store owner hinted that his daughter was available for sexual favors.
(Some people think that Sobieski, who was 13 when filming began and 16 when it ended, looks like Helen Hunt, who was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood at the time. I could see hints of a young Hunt on her face. by Sobieski. in "Eyes wide Shut," But in general, as you get older, I see less and less.
(I guess that was consistent for me. I once worked with a woman who told me she was a dead ringer for Julia Roberts. I didn’t see that either.)
Other interesting story angles:
Sydney Pollack played the wealthy patient who threw the first party and was revealed to have been one of the guests at the orgy. Harvey Keitel was originally cast in that role, but dropped out, as did Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was cast as Marion, the daughter of one of Cruise’s old friends, due to another engagement.
Marion’s father was dying and Cruise was summoned to his side. In the movie, Marion tells Cruise that she loves him and kisses him. Marie Richardson played the role instead.
Some movie critics rated "Eyes wide Shut" like an erotic thriller. It was even marketed that way. But that was really misleading.
The final product was actually more of a psychological thriller, in part due to the things that went into the editing process.
Apparently, the sexual content was even more graphic than what people saw on their movie screens, but, to avoid an NC-17 rating, certain techniques were used to silence it.
That was done after Kubrick’s death. Who knows if he would have agreed with what was done?
On that attempt to silence the content, film critic Roger Ebert wrote: "[I]It’s well done, although it shouldn’t have been done at all … ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ should have been released as [Kubrick] did."
Sounds a lot like the argument I made against "color" black and white movies. A movie is a work of art and the director is the artist. Since the advent of color in movies, it has always been an artistic decision to use it, although the cost He played an important role in that decision for many years.
The content of a movie is even more of an artistic decision, so I agree with Ebert. Edits shouldn’t have been made at all, even if leaving the movie as it was meant an NC-17 rating.