Review Detail

8.7 7 10
FanFix June 16, 2013 4437
(Updated: February 08, 2015)
Overall rating
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Audio Editing
Hey all right let’s finish this off with Kubrick’s Swan Song. And this review is going to be a little longer than normal.

(None of these comments are meant as a personal attack on the editor. These simply are my opinions on the edit and are meant as feedback and constructive criticism.)

Big Kubrick fan here and I have a roller-coaster relationship with Eyes Wide Shut. Excited and confused when I saw it in the theaters, bored by it on first handful of repeat viewings, saw the themes better and grew to like it, still get annoyed by it. And I’m a Gatos fan, love his work, so I was excited to hear of this edit. I watched his workprint way back when and to be honest I wasn’t thrilled with it, but I didn’t know why and I gave lousy feedback. I guess I’m trying to make up for it, albeit a year too late.

I watched the final version of this when Gatos released it and I wanted to let it breathe for a bit before I rewatched the original. Then I watched Fidelio one more time. I’m going to break down some of the differences in the themes, characters, plot, etc. to illustrate how effective (or not) Gatos’ changes are.

-- Bill

Theatrical – Rich doctor. Naïve, boyish, horny, unable to go through with cheating on his wife but keeps trying. In the end comes clean. Character is underwritten and over acted.

Fidelio – More casual, just a horny guy married to Nicole Kidman. Less dumb.

-- Alice

Theatrical – Rich housewife. Faithful, jealous, both proud and ashamed of her fantasies.

Fidelio – She kind of just sits around the whole movie. It’s a shame but I understood why. I agree with what an earlier reviewer said, “(Alice) is nothing more than Bill's trophy, just like Milich's daughter… They are all symbolic prostitutes (is Bill and Alice's daughter on the same path?).”

-- Marriage

Theatrical – A lot has been said about this and it’s written much better than what I can do here.

Fidelio – Gatos excises the focus on marriage to amp up the mystery of the plot. This hooks the viewer earlier and gets you in and out in just over 90 minutes.

-- Sex

Theatrical – Men are dirty, cheating, lousy horndogs, except for Nightingale (although I’m sure Mrs. Nick doesn’t know about his Somerton gigs). Women are either whores or innocent little girls. This movie is filled with the scent of sex.

Nudity is all around Bill. It’s as if Kubrick wanted to put in as much nudity as he could get away with. He wanted the audience to be titillated right off the bat and desensitized to it by the end. But never does it get too pornographic or revolting (unlike Clockwork Orange).

Fidelio – Gatos turns the knob from 11 down to around a 5. The only excised sex elements that I really missed were Bill’s visits to Domino. The story works absolutely fine without them but I liked that subplot.

It's interesting to note that the reduction of all-but-one of Kidman's nude scenes helps to make the orgy feel more taboo or shocking. We haven't been desensitized yet and Mandy's dead body has more of an impact, being the first and last nude woman, both scenes succeeding an overdose.

-- The Inciting Incident

Theatrical - Clean cut Dr. Harford learns his wife’s shocking secret – one time she had a sexual fantasy about another man. This is the weakest element to the movie in my opinion. This fucking guy goes on a wild sexual journey all because he can’t admit he likes to fantasize about other women.

Fidelio – Bill’s out on the town and meets up with his old buddy who just happens to be on his way to an orgy. Instead of trying to get revenge on his wife, Bill’s just being a cheating husband. Definite improvement.

-- Pacing

Theatrical – Meandering. A lot of (forced) tension with an (intentionally) anti-climatic ending.

Fidelio – Oh my god this is so much better. Less lingering. Less whole lotta nothin. This is more of a slow-burn-no-resolution-thriller than a slow-as-molasses-blue-balls-drama.

-- Finale/Resolution

Theatrical – Ashamed with himself, Bill confesses to his wife. Their marriage isn’t over, but now instead of “making love” they “fuck.”

Fidelio – Cuts all that dumb shit out. Ends perfectly. Infidelity will always come back to haunt you.

In Summary:

Great editing, strong story telling. This is a must-see if you have a hard-on for Kubrick. Highly recommended for anybody that found Eyes Wide Shut dumb.

And great bonus videos. “I do want to have anonymous sex.” “You… want to have… anonymous sex?”

A/V Quality - 10
Editing - 10
Narrative - 9 (original 7)
Enjoyment - 8 (original 8)

Recommended drink: Purple Hand beer

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