Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Shining (1980)

The Shining,1980, USA
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall & Danny Lloyd
''No sir, You are the caretaker,you've always been the caretaker, I should know, I've always been here.''

NOTE: This may be a highly sentimental review as this is the film that changed my life.

To fully explain my love of this film I have to go back to the beginning. I was struggling in year 8 around four years ago, I didn't really have anything to get me through, but I did enjoy watching films. One Night my Father brought home a copy of 'The Shining' for $4.95 from Video Ezy. He had never even seen the film so I'm not really sure why he purchased it, maybe because the cover featured the famous image of Jack Nicholson in the ''Here's Johnny'' scene. It was around about 8:30 at night and possibly in a moment of misplaced arrogance I thought I could finish the film before going to bed so I put the film in the DVD player, 11 minutes and 58 seconds later I turned the film off and slept with one eye open.

The next day, the images of blood flowing from an elevator and two little girls standing hand in hand burned in my brain, after school I tried again,as I sat in awe and I watched the film that changed me as a person and introduced me to a man I idolize to this very day, Stanley Kubrick.

There really isn't any words that can describe my passion and gratitude toward this film, It truly is more than just a movie to me. It also doesn't hurt that it is one of the greatest motion pictures ever made. There is not another film on the planet that advocates audience participation like 'The Shining', Never for a second of the films running time do we feel like a mere bystander, we feel apart of the events occurring, we are in the hotel with the Torrance family, we are the camera.

To this day, audience members such as myself attempt to decipher hidden meanings in the film, this is a credit to Mr Kubrick, Stanley specialized in many things and one of them was intricate detail. I have no doubt in my mind that there is a world of hidden secrets and images in this film and only Stanley could keep all of them to himself and keep audiences searching. Is the film really about Native Americans or The Holocaust ? do the ghosts exist or is it just cabin fever ? Is the film a way of Stanley trying to tell us the truth about the moon landing ? I have no idea but these questions still keep me up at night.

Jack Nicholson gives one of the most iconic performances in all of film as Jack Torrance, It is truly remarkable but it may take you multiple viewing to truly appreciate how good it really is. In one of the most under appreciated performances in film history, Shelly Duvall stars Wendy Torrance, In my view she is incredible and gives such a realistic performance, its a shame people are so negative towards her. Danny Lloyd is terrific in his only acting job as young Danny Torrance and Scattman Crothers is as excellent as he always was.

I could honestly write about this film for days. It has truly changed my life by introducing me to the art form known as film which has become my greatest passion. After just completing my millionth viewing of the film all I can say is, Here's to the next Million!


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