Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stanley Kubricks : The Shining

There has been a long time that any film has managed to get under my skin and creep me out completely.I have seen almost everything when it comes to horror(from Ramsey Brothers B grades to Asian Horror,From Italian shockers to Hollywood Slashers ).Somehow i missed Stanley Kubricks:The Shining..until yesterday. Dont get me wrong, i am an ardent fan of Kubricks works..i loved his Clockwork Orange,Dr.Strangelove even Full Metal Jacket, but somehow i just gave this particular film a miss every time i got a chance to watch it (Probably because of my bias towards the adaptation of Stephen King's writing which are wonderful novels but lousy films,The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption being few exceptions).Fortunately enough Kubrick being a master craftsman takes the subject from the book and gives it a complete spin of his own (which pissed off Mr.King real bad and arent we glad that it did..).

The story is again a run of the mill haunted house fare.Jack Torrance(Brilliantly played by Jack Nicholson)a novelist who is planning his next novel gets an opportunity to take care of an hotel while its kept closed for winters.Jacks takes it up hoping that being away from the bustle of city will give his some time to concentrate on his writing so he packs his bag and heads to the Overlook Hotel with his son and his wife(Sherly Duvall).But once there, the family realizes that maybe they are not all that alone in the hotel.Especially the son(Danny) who has extra sensory perception (also termed as the shining,and hence the name of the film.)starts making contact with the other side.Even before they realize Jack starts to descent into complete madness under evil influence and the ordeal that the family goes through makes the rest of the film.

The plot sounds ordinary, but in Kubricks hands it turns into a series of cleverly set peices be it the maze garden or blood flowing out of elevator shafts,the Gold Room or the Redrum scene.Its amazing how a film with absolutely no body count,blood and gore can scare the living daylights out of you just by wonderful camera work (i havent seen such good use of a 15mm lens), lighting and performances.The film is extremely atmospheric and the sets of huge lobby's and never ending corridors had been used absolutely well to give the feeling of emptiness and dread.Also watch it for mise-en-scene where you have long takes and a shot goes on for several minutes instead of it getting cut every now and then(thats what happens now).Its a must see even if you are not a Kubricks fan.


kamal anjelo said...

the best thing i like about this movie is,the director has the capability to show even a pleasant scene in a eerie way,if he choses to!
(for example the title scene,where the car goes into dark alley or cave from beautiful hillsides)

i guess from there itself he begins to tell the story.shining is a real Shining movie in all aspects!thanks for telling about it!

aroop said...

When this film was released it was declared a flop, but like a good wine this film has aged with time and now it can be easily said that this film was way ahead of its time. Its one of the films thats usually shown in almost every film academy in their film appreciation program. Also recommended is Session:9 a film by Brad Anderson- if you liked Shining you will definetly like Session 9- in a nutshell Session 9 is a sort of film thats born when The Shining ,Blairwitch Project and The Sixth Sense decides to make out on top of a tree.

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