Kubrick and the actors put up a long and beautiful show in one night and we are told it spans over years and years.
Stanley Kubrick is something I don’t get. He is a phenomenon more than he is a person or an artist or a storyteller. His calmness never holds the screen. It should. But it doesn’t. Instead, it melts like warm butter. That, right there, remains to be a mystery. The unfathomable perspective that he spins on the known stories is both dangerous and sensual. The long slow seductive process that is exhaustingly beautiful casts a flattering impact on us, leaving us buzzed and provoked on the themes he explores.
It is a date night movie in that sense. Despite being ironic in its bones and inhumanly dark in its analysation of the behavior that you would expect. And no, it doesn’t shock anywhere to what it has to display. If anything it is a slow burn. You can predict the banality that these characters would go through and it is exactly how it goes. Not only now you are hooked to see the self created doom but also are waiting for Kubrick to put it on screen with his unique visual storytelling skills.
The result is pure joy. Perpetually even, balanced in “how” it has to say. “What” has to say gets deliberately lost into the dust. The film is a character driven journey of a guy trying to fit into the change in the social norms of a bygone era where too, it found difficulty to enhance his views. The film starts from zooming in, framing the world that our protagonist lives in and fails to be unselfish in its vocab. As the film develops the camera zooms out to mock his character that thinks he understood the sacrifices and importance of the others in this world. While the truth of the matter is, Barry Lyndon isn’t mature enough to take care of himself, let alone others.