Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

Released 1999

Review by: Fiji Mermaid

Eyes Wide Shut is about man named Dr. Bill Harford who, on a chance meeting with a friend, enters into a secret world of sex, murder and mystery. Bill is a successful doctor in New York City who seems to have a wealthy client base. The beginning of the film shows him and his wife Alice attending a party thrown by of one of his rich patients. When they first arrive Bill sees a piano player he knows, his old friend Nick Nightingale from medical school. They discuss their very different career paths and Nick invites Bill to a bar where he'll be playing with a band later that evening.

Upon separately moving around the party, Bill and his wife are both approached by men and women who seem to want more than small talk. Before anything happens with Bill he's asked to go meet the host of the party, Victor Ziegler, who has a problem upstairs. Bill enters a bathroom to find Victor with a nude woman who has overdosed on drugs. Bill treats her, and Victor is very grateful. Meanwhile, Alice is being hit on by a wealthy older gentleman. Bill comes back downstairs and sees them together, and they leave the party. At home, they get into an argument about Alice thinking Bill cheated on her with the women she saw him with at the party. Bill denies it. Alice wanting to anger and upset Bill, tells him about a man she saw while they were on vacation whom she wanted in a lustful way. Bill gets a phone call about one of his patients who has died at home and he must leave, not resolving their discussion.

Bill arrives at the home of the dead man and meets with his daughter. They briefly talk about their relationship and out of the blue the daughter confesses her love for Bill, which catches him off guard. He decides it's best to leave, but has no intentions of going home. He walks the streets thinking about his wife's story. He's approached by a prostitute and he decides to go home with her. They share some small talk and just before they get down to doing anything, Alice calls. Bill sort of snaps back to reality and says he has to go, but wants to pay the prostitute for her time.

Bill goes back out into the night and heads to the bar where Nick Nightingale is playing. He sits down to talk with his friend and chat about old times and what they are up to now. Nick then shares with Bill that he is playing for another private party this evening but it's super secret. He gets the address at the last minute, and must be blindfolded while at the party. He laughs and tells Bill once the blindfold wasn't on tight enough and he saw what went on at the party. "Bill, I have seen one or two things in my life, but never, never anything like this and NEVER such women" Nick states. Bill is only more interested now. While they are talking, Nick gets a call about the party, and Bill talks him into giving him the address and password. Nick tells him he shouldn't, but that it doesn’t matter because Bill won't be able to get in anyway without a mask and a cloak. Once again Bill is off into the night, only this time with a mission.

Bill goes to a costume shop, wakes up the owner and offers to pay $200 bucks over the rental price of a costume because he's desperate to get to this party. It's here where we first see Bill use his job and money to get what he wants from somebody. The owner agrees to take the extra cash and outfits Bill with a mask and cloak. Ready with all he feels he needs, he takes a taxi to the address of the party. The party is at a huge gated mansion, and he must give the password to gain admittance. Once inside, he sees a bunch of men in masks and cloaks all watching a bizarre ritual where a group of naked women wearing fancy masks are in a circle while a man in a red cloak walks around carrying incense in a small cauldron hanging on a chain. After the ritual the woman leave the room, as do many party goers. Bill begins to move through the house and in every room sees masked men having sex with the women. The music in this scene is quite amazing and really captures the strangeness and mysteriousness of what is going on. One of the masked women comes up to Bill and says he doesn't belong there. Somehow she knows him or knows he's not one of them, but Bill doesn't leave. Then a man approaches him and says his taxi driver is at the front door, can he come out to speak with him. Bill agrees and walks into the main room to find many party goers and the red cloaked man sitting there.

Red Cloak asks him to step forward and give him the password to the party. Bill tells him and Red Cloak asks him for the second password, which Bill says he's forgotten, but never really knew. Red Cloak says that's too bad, and asks him to remove his clothes and mask. Bill removes the mask but is reluctant to disrobe. Then the woman who approached him earlier steps forward and says she offers herself in his place. Red Cloak agrees to this, but won't say what her fate is. He makes Bill promise not to say a word about the party to anyone or his family and friends will be in trouble.

Bill heads home, troubled about the evening. He tries to track down his friend Nick the next day. He finds the hotel and is told that Nick, looking scared and hurt, checked out in the middle of the night, escorted by some intimidating men. Bill goes out to the house where the party was held and is met at the gate by a man with a letter for him which tells him to leave this issue alone. Bill then backtracks to the prostitute he met and finds her friend at the apartment and tells Bill the girl he met found out she's HIV positive. Later at home reading the paper he sees an article about a woman who overdosed and died. He goes to the morgue and sees her body. It's the girl he helped at Victor's party, and who he now believes was the woman trying to help him at the second party. His friend Victor calls and asks him to pay him a visit.

Once Bill is at Victor's house, Victor says he was at the second party too, and that Bill had no business getting mixed up in this stuff. He warns him to stop looking into the party and what happened to those involved, because the people he's messing with are people who can make life miserable. Victor tries to explain away the odd things Bill believes he's seen or knows. Victor tells Bill it's all scare tactics, but we viewers are not so sure. Bill heads home not knowing what to make of all this and finds the mask he lost at the party on his pillow on his bed next to his sleeping wife. He starts crying and she wakes up and he says "I'll tell you everything". The next day they go Christmas shopping and seem to try to put the whole ordeal behind them.


Theatrical Trailer


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