Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Sex and communication are complementary and cannot work without each other. Like yin and yang. Sex validates one desire for the other. And the discussion allows us to reach a level of mutual understanding necessary to overcome the turbulence of everyday life.

The Commentary

That it is convenient to live one’s life as a spectator. Enjoy the show, without taking any chances. To allow the luxury of criticism or to be content to applaud stupidly, installed comfortably in his chair. As if we preferred to ignore that life can be more intense when you go on stage yourself. Instead, we prefer to lead a fatherly, and uninteresting existence.

The Pitch

After a sleepless night, a doctor can no longer close his eyes.

The Summary

Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) leads a tidy life with his perfect wife Alice (Nicole Kidman), his polite little girl, his straight tree with its twinkling garlands. There would be almost no shortage of dogs. It’s a good thing the little girl wants one at Christmas.

One cannabis night, Alice lets out her frustration by talking to her husband about a beautiful stranger for whom she would have dumped everything. This disturbing truth will haunt Bill, tipping him into an endless night of temptations of all kinds.

He is first almost raped by the daughter of one of his patients. Then he is accosted by a prostitute he met at the corner of a street. In a costume shop with more than dubious manners, he loses himself in a temple of debauchery where he succumbs to the charms of a mysterious hostess.

Put on the index in front of everyone, he becomes trapped in his own fantasies, in addition to being haunted by those of his wife.

Heckled to the depths of his certainties by this hellish night, he is gnawed by doubt. It goes back in reverse to find meaning in these events. But the phone is no longer answering, the gate of the property is closed, the prostitute has changed address and the artist has left the premises. It’s all gone. What if nothing really mattered? Life goes on as Ziegler (Sydney Pollack) suggests?

Listen, Bill. Nobody killed anyone. Someone died. It happens all the time. Life goes on. It always does, until it doesn’t.

His wife unmasks him. Bill confesses. Having for him never to have crossed the line, his wife passes the sponge for this time. After a necessary development, without a wooden tongue, Alice invites her husband to make love again as soon as possible.

I do love you and you know there is something we need to do as soon as possible.

What?

Fuck.

The EXPLANATION

Eyes Wide Shut is down the masks.

We are only poor actors of everyday life. Every day we put on the costume of the good wife, or the good daddy. We go to the office where we play good colleagues in a pitiful comedy. There is no need for artificial intelligence to program us into an imaginary matrix, we do it very well ourselves.

There’s no point in pretending. The fantasies we pretend to ignore catch up with us sooner or later. One can well imagine being above all suspicion, we will inevitably end up taking the wall one way or another. This is the story of the awakening of a slipper.

Bill has a life without a shadow of a doubt. He’s the perfect little doctor with his perfect little family. Totally comfortable with his routine that he doesn’t even look around anymore.

How do I look?

Perfect.

Is my hair okay?

It’s great.

You’re not even looking at it.

It’s beautiful. You always look beautiful.

He’s already dead.

In his relationship as on a couch, Bill believes hard as iron that marriage protects him from adultery. His wife cannot deceive him since she is his wife, the mother of his child. Bill is safe from the storm, like an unshakeable oak tree.

You sound very sure of yourself…

I’m not. I’m sure of you!

Error.

The vocation of the covenant is not to move away from the evil eye. A simple fantasy of Alice will be enough to unbalance her husband. In one night, he is no longer sure of anything. Alice opened Pandora’s box. The eyes are now wide open. It’s hard for him to ignore that little devil on the corner of his shoulder.

His wife’s confession serves as an electroshock. He’s gamberge. For the first time, he sees.

The next day, Bill wakes up in a denial of reality. What if everything had only happened in his head? What follows could be akin to a paranoid delirium in which Bill would feel like he was being prosecuted by his guilt. Her conscience in the mansion had, however, ordered her to leave her alone and not to talk about it. Fortunately for him, closing his eyes is now impossible. There’s no way to go back.

He becomes aware of the world that has nothing to do with the calm waters in which he thought he was swimming. His journey makes him glimpse all the colors of the rainbow. He comes out of this experience stronger after realizing that the world is still prettier in color than in black and white. Less naïve.

After drinking the cup, he spits out and sits down to the table to talk. For the secret of modern couples, those who last, lies precisely in speech. It is necessary to communicate, without denying the importance of desire, which remains omnipresent. The mistake would be to forget it.

Sex and communication are complementary and cannot work without each other. Like yin and yang. Sex validates one desire for the other. And the discussion allows us to reach a level of mutual understanding necessary to overcome the turbulence of everyday life. For if this routine seems to us too often akin to a calm Mediterranean, it is not. Let us beware of the water that sleeps and this Hungarian who flirts with our wife while we have our back turned to flirt with two sirens. Adam and Eve walk around a large apple orchard infested with snakes every day.

Many couples are hypocrites. Few last. From this point of view, new technology makes things even more difficult. The Cruise-Kidman tandem will not have survived this adventure.