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Eyes Wide Shut (1999) – Stanley Kubrick

Eyes Wide Shut forces you to imagine the unimaginable and allows such foreplay to solidify into ripples that often disturb a still surface. These ripples are made from the stuff of dreams, fears, desires, and fetishes. No matter how vehemently we deny such invisibles in life. Sometimes out of sadness, loneliness, ignorance, or fear. They are often celebrated in our subconscious and never deny to show up in dreams.

Eyes Wide Shut invents such a fable and as a film comprising of such profound and strong characters, it is fulfilling and cerebrally fictive. It illustrates how delusional, limited, and too ‘into our heads’ we can be. That our external surroundings become fragments of not an objective reality but a product of our own imagination and fancy. What we seek, we shall find.

Stanley Kubrick’s masterful stroke on a blank canvas is done in strikingly audacious colors. This film uses language and gesture in the most idiosyncratic manner. With ephemeral subplots like the pianist, the hooker, the daughter of the owner of the costume store, and Mandy, it gains its dreamlike personality as much from them as from the lives of William and Alice.

Where the mind uses reason and logic to curb the imagination. The imagination, too, has its own intellect and intuition. Eyes Wide Shut is the consummation of this abstraction of the self. And it often shoots up to the surface in symbols such as the face mask, drugs, money, Rainbow Fashions, William’s New York State Medical Board Card, and the Christmas trees.

To watch it is to unmask the repressed nature of human’s spiraling sexuality and desires. And how such impulses are often compromised because of what we think is good or bad for us.