Stanley Kubrick

’s Eyes Wide Shut Essay, Research Paper

Stanley Kubrick?s Eyes Wide Shut

In Stanley Kubrick?s final work, Eyes Wide Shut, he addresses certain human issues such as trust and love in marriage, life?s seemingly endless pursuit of ?getting away with it?, and how men are unable to express sensitivity without a major life altering experience. It is interesting to look at how he uses the tools given him to express these views. The use of light, camera angle, and story line all correlate to make a vivid picture of a marriage that is perfect on the outside; however, it is falling apart on the inside. However miraculous it is, the end shows that not all is lost. We find our two main characters getting ready to go to a party in the beginning, and the bathroom scene portrays the amount of trust and intimacy in the marriage where one is using the toilet in front of the other. Next we find our characters engrossed in an argument about trust and truth. This seems to lead the way to larger more complex problems between our beautiful couple. In this argument Bill is unable to show compassion or understanding of Alice?s situation, so he has to endure a life event to finally come to an understanding of her feelings.

In the bathroom before the party, Alice is on the toilet while bill is using the mirror. A large amount of trust has been built for the two to be so comfortable with each other in that situation. However, it also shows the lack of respect and emotion between them. The love for one another is event, but they are bored with each other also. When Alice asks Bill how she looks, he simply replies ?perfect?, but he never turns to look at her nor does he even acknowledge her true question. Kubrick was expressed that the marriage was drying up. Despite the trust and love they had, their marriage was becoming stale. Later at the party, Alice goes one way and Bill goes the other. Alice and Bill are both propositioned by different people. All of which indicate the couple is at a breaking point; however, both trust the other that nothing will happen. At least until Bill disappears from sight, then Alice becomes suspicious of Bill.

Later the next night, Alice confronts Bill on where he had disappeared. Alice tells Bill that she thought he went to have sex with the two girls that she had seen him with the night before. Bill told her that Victor had taken ill and he went to take care of him. The two argue about what happen and what Bill really intended to do with the two girls at the party. This of course is not what really happened, but an attempt to get away with out telling the whole truth. Then Alice tells Bill of the sailor she had saw and how he made her second guess all that she had to be with him. Kubrick uses the camera to show Bill and his contemplation of the story that was being spouted out to him. Bill confesses that he has never had a fantasy or inclination of the sort. He cannot understand Alice or the position she was in at the time. The camera following Alice as she tells the story and giving the audience a sense of intoxication along with the soft lighting of the film lends to the sequence?s surrealistic expression of events. What was buried deep finally comes to the surface. A phone call explaining that a close friend has passed away interrupts the argument, symbolizing the death of the marriage, as each had known it to that point in time. Bill has to leave to go to the person?s house.

At the house of his fallen friend he learns that the dead mans daughter has had a secret love for him. Even the similarity to his wife?s situation does not jar his emotions, but seems to convince him women are difficult creatures to understand. Reeling from the events of the night Bill launches off into the night. While walking down the street he is accused of being gay and wrathfully abused by a group of guys walking down the street. This portraits again the ?its not always what it seems? mentality of the story. He is then propositioned by a hooker, which he surprisingly accepts. He is again trying to get away with something or trying to get back at Alice. Bill fails miserably when he gets a phone call from Alice in the middle of his negotiations. He decides to leave without doing anything, because he realizes that he still loves Alice. He then follows a rather bizarre trail to a bar where an old friend from college was playing. In the bar he learns of a party where the women are to die for gorgeous. After long pleading with his friend he gets the password to the party. Bill goes through more trouble trying to get a costume. The man that had owned the costume shop was gone and another ran it, and secretly ran his daughter as a prostitute. At last Bill gets to the party, and he finds it to be some sort of pagan sex ritual. Needless to say, he is intrigued by his surroundings. He is found out and his life is threatened. When his wife finds the mask and has it sitting out on the bed when Bill gets home, he breaks down. The events had taken a rather large toll on him. Finally, Bill is able to express some feeling. In the last sequence, Bill asks Alice what will happen, and Alice replies that maybe they had been given a second chance. They remorsefully apologize, but the future is left in the air when Alice refuses to accept Bill?s forever. She simply says, ?We shouldn?t inquire about the future.?

Kubrick left the audience wondering about his/her self, and whether the truth or little white lies should rule our lives. When people get to a point of love and trust that their life becomes stale then it must be shaken to rekindle what once was truly shared. It is a human nature to lie to hold someone?s feelings from being hurt, and to try to get away with anything that makes you happy. But, can men and women really understand each other? Even in the end, Bill wanted a forever, but Alice could not bare an eternal commitment. This stimulates the very inquisitive nature of all humans: truth or lies?


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