Few director's have been able to match the successful creative output of Stanley Kubrick and as his final film before passing away, it is safe to say that Eyes Wide Shut was a perfect swan-song from one of Cinema's greatest filmmakers. On a technical level, the film is just brilliant but the story itself which unfolds as a nightmare of sexual awakening is emotionally gripping as a slow-burning portrayal of one man's struggle to come to terms with his wife's devastating confession. The narrative is a sexual odysey of sorts incorporating elements of an erotic thriller full of fantasy, illusions, conspiracies and dreams with a sucker-punch of an ending that
leaves plenty to think about.
Kubrick's masterful directing abilities are on full display and the way he frames each and every scene is truely remarkable. He has such a keen eye for maximizing space with particular emphasis on specific lighting techniques in order to set the appropriate tone of his scenes. I also love Kubrick's long tracking shots and appreciate the way he takes such painful effort to make sure that the each scene is meticulously crafted to serve its given purpose. Much of the film takes on certain dreamlike qualities through Kubrick's absorbing visuals that mesmerize and stimulate the senses.
Both Cruise and Kidman deliver outstanding performances and even the supporting players like Sydney Pollack bring their A-game. I actually think Tom Cruise delivers the strongest perfromance of his career. For all those naysayers who think he's nothing but a talentless actor and merely a pretty boy obviously haven't seen this film. He shows plenty of restraint in his solemn demanor to effectively convey a sexually frustrated individual who finds himself in a compromising predicament (which I dare not reaveal here) brought on by his own misunderstanding to satisfy the sexual and emotional desires of his wife. Cruise understands his character thoroughly and it clearly shows even when there isn't any dialogue being spoken. The intensity of his facial expressions and the way he handles key melodramatic moments in the film are handled compellingly.
Flawless in execution with enticing visuals, packing powerful performances and a bizarre seductive plot-line; this is the type of sensual and affecting story that seems like an anomaly from all the dreck that comes out of Hollywood these days. Moreso, it proves how talented Sanley Kubrick really was as a director, inspiring a new generation of filmmakers. He was a true auteur whose prescence is severely missed.