2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
If this film is about obsessive behaviours, its succeeded. As a documentary, its an absolute shocker.,
This review is from: Room 237 [DVD] (DVD)
`Room 237' is a documentary by Rodney Ascher, a curious film based on Stanley Kubrick's classic horror film `The Shining'. This documentary shows off the obsessive theories of a few ultra-obsessive fans on what they think `The Shining' is really about.
Five different narrators pitch various interpretations of "The Shining," accompanied by footage from the film. Kubrick was renowned for his perfectionism, and the narrators spared no time in putting every minute detail under the microscope. One narrator thinks the film is about the genocide of the American Indians, another associates it the Nazi holocaust. An even more outlandish claim is from another narrator who thinks the film is Kubrick's confession for faking the television footage of the Apollo 11 moon landing at the behest of the U.S. government!
But theres more, the hotel manager has a hard-on, Jack Nicholson is reading a porn magazine, and a Ski poster is seen as a Minotaur. Canned goods and the number 42 are discussed at length. You cant help but laugh at first, but by halfway through this documentary you will be shaking your head in disbelief, repeating to yourself `Have these people got nothing better to do in their lives?'. As if thats not enough, we see a sequence where the film is played and superimposed with the film played backwards, illiciting a new level of justifications, connections, theories and conspiracies. By now you are feeling as murderous as Jack Nicholson was in the film!
The narrators premise for such barmy ideas is based on the notion that as Kubrick was such a meticulous filmmaker, everything in the film has a meaning. You have to assume Ascher is sending up these people. Chuckles turn to bemusement and then anger, knowing that this isn't the warped interpretations of one person, theres plenty of them out there! However much you liked `The Shining', you couldn't care less about the self-indulgent ramblings of these contradictory narrators over 100 soul-destroying minutes of utter tedium. Let's hope i never get cornered by a film obsessive at a party! If this film is about obsessive behaviours, its succeeded. As a documentary, its an absolute shocker.