Room 237, a documentary feature directed by Rodney Ascher explores numerous theories about Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' and it's hidden meaning. I myself am not a fan of horror flick but since it was a Kubrick film,i had to see it. I find the film to be both disturbingly scary and fascinating. Who could forget the iconic moment of little Danny riding on his tricycle through the corridors of the Overlook Hotel and confronts the infamous Grady twins.
Personally,I think it's one of the the most remarkable filmmaking work in cinema history ,with the its stunning use of steady cam and brilliant execution of atmospheric sound/noises in creating the psychological space for the film.
Anyway,back to the documentary..
When i first saw the film,i knew there was something cryptic about it. I knew the film has a historical content attached to it, because there was a mention of the hotel built on top of a Native Indian burial ground.Apart from that, we are constantly reminded about the past, when apparitions appear in a form of the murdered Grady twins, the mysterious bartender Lloyd whom Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) had conversations with, and not to forget, the murderous caretaker himself, Delbert Grady confronting Jack and reminding him that he ( Jack) had always been the caretaker. It was almost like an obituary of the building's violent history, that somehow manifested within the walls of the hotel.
The ideas about The Shining as a meditation on historical guilt and the return of the repressed are powerful.
Room 237 proved my suspicious when it revealed, that there were others who have developed far-reaching theories and believe they have decoded the hidden symbols and messages buried in the late director's film. Carefully examining The Shining inside out, and forwards and backwards, Room 237 gives voice to the fans and scholars who espouse these theories, reworking the film to match their ideas and intercutting it with layers of dreamlike imagery to illustrate their streams of consciousness.
They are convinced the characters' dialogue, their clothing and even the pattern of the Overlook's carpet are codes. Breaking those cryptic clues, they argue, reveals hidden messages about the genocide of America's indigenous people, the Nazi's Final Solution and even an admission the 1969 Moon Landing was faked.
I was blown away by these theories ,that it prompted me to watch the movie all over again and forge my own research and theories.
I think that was the point of the whole documentary. That a well crafted film, could withstand the test of time. The brilliance and craftsmanship of Stanley Kubrick, the ambiguity in his work, still captivates audiences till this day.
I don't want to spoil the documentary, but do check it out.
Enjoy the trailer: