Review & Synopsis: Earth (1998). Analyzing the Character of Dil Nawaz

British left India in 1947. The dawn of August 14 saw the creation of a new nation, Pakistan, and the midnight of August 15 welcomed an independent nation, India. What follows these grand events is a sad tale of inhumanity, ingenuity and violence on the both sides of the border.

Review & Synopsis

Based on Bapsi Sidhwa‘s novel “Cracking India,” Earth explores the lives of the greater inhabitants of Lahore during and after the partition of 1947. Shown from the perspective of an 8 years old Parsi girl, it makes a contrasting analysis of lives before and after the partition.

Cover of Earth (1998)

Earth (1998)

Lenny Sethna or Lenny baby is a polio stricken 8 years old Parsi girl residing in the Lahore (In Pakistan) region of British India. Her everyday life revolves around her nanny Shanta, a Hindu woman, staffs of her house and the friends of Shanta; Dil Nawaz, Hassan and others. Her parents are well-known and respected in the society and they are known throughout the events for remaining neutral between the brawl of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.

In span of few months, Britishers leave the unruly subcontinent to the  ill-prepared and zealous statesmen. The insurgence of equal share in running the nation by Hindus and Muslims creates a rift among the community, working class men and political parties. The removal of British insignia creates a communal tension between the Muslims and Hindus. As a result, the entire northwestern and eastern regions are demarcated from the modern day India, hence, giving birth to Pakistan. What follows is communal tension, bashful pride, malevolence, hatred and massacre.

Hassan is the protagonist, so are Shanta and Lenny baby, while Dil Nawaz is the antihero or primarily the antagonist of the story.

Dil Nawaz’s sisters migrating from the Gurdaspur region of India are massacred by the Sikhs. In fit of rage, Dil looses his temper and turns into a killer. A once charming, non-violent and reasonable man is now a bloodthirsty war-mongering brat, killing everyone who tend to differ. In fit of jealousy, he kills his own friend, Hassan, the Sikh members and assist in raping the love of his life, Shanta.

Lenny baby is still young to make anything of the events. Still naive in reasoning, she partakes in the defeat of Shanta, her nanny. The ripple effect of violence and ethnic cleansing manages to swipe entire regions near Pakistan and Indian border, hence, killing millions.

Deepa Mehta’s approach in adopting the story by Sidhwa is to take on the darker side of modern civilization. Though, based on a micro scale of interpreting lives of a small community of Lahore, the subject overwhelmingly grabs the toll of violent outtakes occurred during and after the partition.

Religion and demographic dominance of Muslims over Hindus and Sikhs in Lahore culminates into massacre of innocents. The inhabitants are forced to leave town and migrate to Hindu-majority state of India, and so do the Muslims from the neighboring India to Pakistan.

Once friends, the people turn against each other and kill for the sake of religion. What British left behind becomes the reason for war and autocracy.

It also sheds light on the fact that the ruination of greater India wasn’t because of British but the selfish reasons of fellow countrymen. The want for a separate nation and bureaucratic privileges created a reason for the breakage of greater India. The trickery of politicians and selfishness over patriotism/nationalism was the precursor of the partition. The takers took the power and fame while the poor and insignificant class of society suffered the major losses. The two nations turned foes.

Following the success of Fire (1996), Mehta gave a similar expression of unconventional take on the subject matters for films. Packed with some subtle performances and linear story-line, Earth is an example of greater film-making.


Analyzing the Character of Dil Nawaz

Dil Nawaz is an antihero. A once suave, reasonable and delectable man turned into a war-mongering citizen. Grown with an astute belief of non-violence, love, cooperation and joy, Nawaz shines as a messiah till the first half of the movie. He puts a smokey mascara, Soorma, and dons a Taqiyah.

Aamir Khan as Dil Nawaz

Aamir Khan as Dil Nawaz

He loves Shanta but Shanta loves his friend Hassan. He catches them making love. The added tragedy of the rape and brutal murder of his sisters arriving to Pakistan from India after the partition enrages his fury and drives him into madness. Out of jealousy and revenge, he avenges the death of his siblings by killing innocent people of other sects. He even kills his friend, Hassan, and assists in raping Shanta.

He’s quite a reasonable man. He brings smiles by quoting his romantic couplets and selling delicious ice-cream, however, the turn of the eventscreates a villain out of him.

The portrayal of Dil Nawaz by Aamir Khan (Actor) is immensely likable.  He can charm the audiences with his wit and also grow hatred in them with his volatile attitude. His prolonging silence, deafening stares, mute between the dialogues, innocent looking face, slightly hunched posture and grim and tenacious gesture gives life to the character of Dil Nawaz. His demeanor of betraying and relishing the violence adds a multifaceted and multidimensional qualities to his overalls.

All in all, Aamir shines in the entire movie.

Earth (1998)

Directed by Deepa Mehta, Written by Deepa Mehta and Bapsi Sidhwa, Produced by Anne Mason and Deepa Mehta, Starring: Aamir Khan, Nandita Das, Rahul Khanna, Maia Sethna and others

Stanley Kubrick Movie Montage

Mastering the Greatness in Cinema: Stanley Kubrick, 63 Years Later!

The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle. ~S.Kubrick


In LOVE with Stanley Kubrick

As confessed in my previous article on Room 237: Documentary, my love for Stanley Kubrick is undeniably a never ending saga of honesty and respect for his works. Starting from Fear & Desire (1953) and ending at Eyes Wide Shut (1999), every motion picture made by him managed to grasp my senses and left me bewildered for days. There are many things in his movies which I fear watching for the second time, some are very hilarious which I can never get enough of and few are a totally placid in almost every sense.

Watching the final sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey; when Dr. Bowman travels through the atmosphere of Jupiter (Planet) and the transition of him, a man, into a Starchild, left me delirious for hours. I fear watching the sequence for the second time.

When Peter Sellers donned the character of the Dr. Strangelove (A cynic, war mongering ex-Nazi ), I felt a sense of hilarity in the overall absurdity of colonial tensions between nations and at the very cause of war. Seller calling “Mein fuhrer” to the US President and adding a Nazi salute adds charm to the overall content of the movie. This is one scene, I can never get enough of.

The reason why critics and the then general audiences mauled Kubrick and his movies makes me smirk, because, they are the priceless pieces of a greater art. Despite, being ratified as worthless crafts by audiences back then, his movies, over the time, gained the massive cult status and his characters remain alive still today; Alex DeLarge, Hal 9000, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, you name’em.

His curious observation of the unseen and un-experimented subjects left us in awe; be it the subject of pedophilia in Lolita, ultra-futuristic theme of 2001: ASO or the taboo-ish jamboree of Illuminati groups, paganism and mass-orgy in Eyes Wide Shut. A perfectionist and constant improviser, Kubrick’s test with various genres, subject and time never failed him nor the audiences. A pioneer in many of cinematic achievements, he made his movies to quench his own discreet and sublime ideas and premises.

What made him Great?

Stanley Kubrick in his early days

Stanley Kubrick in his early days

A film-maker who never managed to win a single Oscar (Best Director), for which he can be considered the Leonardo DiCaprio of the Directors, but I must admit, he was out of the league entirely. He managed to make movies equal in realism to Italian Neo-realist cinema and in glamour to big-budget Bad ASS Superhero flicks of Hollywood; his is a versatile craft very few film-makers can ever master (Other being Steven Speilberg and Coen Brothers).

An adamant director and a thrifty producer, he never made a bad movie. Every one of his movies, over his filmy lifespan of 48 years in which he managed to make only 13 motion pictures and 3 short movies with an average of 4 years in between his next release, are considered the masterpiece of modern cinema. Rarity of commercial themes and budgets were common traits of his modus oeprandi, yet he never failed to deliver a finest product on the table.

2001: ASO, Spartacus and Barry Lyndon are ranked among the epics of Hollywood’s ever produced. Dr. Strangelove, Lolita and A Clockwork orange are among the highly lauded and critically acclaimed movies ever.

Most Clichéd about Kubrick

1. Slow and protracted scenes

Scenes from his movie 2001: ASO lasted for more than 15 minutes; when Dr. Bowman is pulled into a tunnel of colored light and other cosmological Shits of Jupiter, and also when he deactivates HAL (Hal 9000) for its mischief, which were weirdly long and slow. The sedated scenes often became the major trademarks of Kubrick’s craft which were later followed in Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.

Capturing the time and space of entirety of a particular sequence [2001: ASO] were followed religiously by Kubrick, for whom there were no cutting shorts. When a scene required to be long, he made them generously long.


2. Reverse tracking shots

After Hitchcock, Kubrick would be the one who popularized the dolly zoom method of tracking shots in the movies. The popular scenes from Paths of Glory tracking Col. Dax (Kirk Douglas) walking in the trenches, A Clockwork Orange tracking Alex Delarge (Malcom McDowell) walking around the London mall and Gny. Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) and his recruits marching in Full Metal Jacket were all done using reverse tracking shots.


3. Subliminal messages

The Shining is probably most famous among audiences for the subliminal messages it purportedly tried delivering. The length of controversy of discreet messages went furor, even Rodney Ascher (Room 237) made a documentary film on it.

…as it happened!

#1 Lolita (1962)

Lolita happened in the spring of 1962. An independent venture of Kubrick and James B. Harris, Lolita became the most controversial movie of the time. Their experiment with the sensitive subject of pedophilia and lust landed the movie in troubles with the censors. The British Board of Film Censors rated the movie ‘X’ therefore, barring the audience under the age of 16.

Despite, the comments it may have received from the then audience and the critics later, Lolita opened up a space for film-makers to make and promote movies as they pleased.

#2 Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

The year 1964 began with the release of Dr. Strangelove or…, a comic take on Cold War and the brewing hatred between two giants of the World; USA and Russia. Assimilating the great cast, creating life like sets and adapting a dark story of war and nuclear weapon into major motion picture was quite a tough task for Kubrick.

Peter Sellers as the Dr. Strangelove himself and his alien hand syndrome, along with addressing the US president with “Mein Führer,” stole the show entirely. The implications of the movie is to portray the dire consequences of brewing hatred among two nuclear powers of the world, along with a comic gesture on what could happen to the world if a nuclear war is to take place!

#3 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The most challenging and expensive venture of Kubrick has to be none other than 2001: A Space Odyssey. Made in 60s’, it explored a Science-fiction tale of how the world, mankind and Space would land up in the 21st Century. Kubrick employed the specialists from the fields of science and technology, Arts, Special Effects and Sounds to give his movie a real-life like experience.

From building a rocket capsule to creating a cosmological phenomena of an unseen Jupiter’s atmosphere, he mastered the craft of making stories that are far-sighted and thoughtful.

Most critics and audiences panned the movie when it was first released. Today, it’s a cult and is used in reference to every possible space exploration movies made post-2001: ASO.

#4 A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The year 1971 ended with the horrors of Alex DeLarge‘s criminal past. As it happened, a controversial story of A Clockwork Orange established Kubrick as the film-maker who could make movies on any subject given, despite the level of visual intolerance it could render On-screen. Alex’s character portrays a sociopath; he glorifies rape, assault and loot. He’s an imagery of evil, yet the movie established him as a profound character of behavioral psychology and morality.

It’ was banned in UK for 27 years, following the controversy surrounding the violence occurred in the English society which were believed to be inspired by the movie.

#5 Barry Lyndon (1975)

Alex’s story was followed by the exploits of the 18th century Irish Adventurer in 1975, when the year ended with the Luck of Barry Lyndon. A movie of epic proportion, after Spartacus, Barry Lyndon explored the rise and fall of a hearty character –Barry Redmond, an Irishman who managed to experience the harshest treatments and sweetest pleasures the world has ever to offer.

3 hours long, the movie is considered one of the finest movies of Kubrick. Despite its rather slower and darker tone, the movie doesn’t fail to capture your attention and constant critical consensus. It’s a masterpiece!

Ryan O’Neal, donning a Victorian-aged suit with a curly blonde locks and quirky smile,  shines throughout his adventures in the movie.

#6 Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Professed as an Erotic-Thriller by the critics, Eyes Wide Shut took on the complex premise of Illuminati gathering and quasi-religious sexual rituals. Exploring the taboo subjects, Kubrick’s approach went towards showing how a regular family suddenly erodes because of the effects of unforced measures of relationships. Sexual fantasy, envy, dishonesty and boredom are its common themes.

Released few months after the death of its Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut remained his final ever project which marked his 13th motion picture and end of his career.

For complete Stanley Kubrick Filmography, The Kubrick Site and Kubrick Collection @WarnerBros

Review & Synopsis: The 400 Blows (1959), and Analyzing Post-WW II France

The 400 Blows (1959) presents the then France as it was. The troubled life of Antoine is saddening yet witty and his troubles glorify the grandeur of French Cinema. An important movie of the French new wave.


Official Poster of The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows (1959), official poster

Seeing the Paris of 50s’ is like watching a Cabaret with a glass of Chardonnay in one hand and Romeo y Juliet on the other. The black and white texture gives a stark contrast between the backdrop and the characters (The backdrop blends in with the scene and never once overshadows the forefront characters). The plots are simpler and the story is the simplest of them all. Can it be called a worthy contemporary of the Neo-realism? Well, Yes!

The 400 Blows explores the underlying ideas of post-war french society and its effects on the younger generation. Set in the 2nd half of 20th century, the time of greater inventions and sociopolitical improvements, the modus operandi is a clash between new and older France. Antoine Doinel (JeanPierre Léaud), the protagonist, carries the sole tiresome weight of the new wave cinema over his tiny shoulders throughout the movie. He, a figure of hope for every teenagers who have been struggling with their emotional tragedies and identity crisis, gives life to the troubled character of Antoine, a troublemaker.

François Truffaut’s (Director) approach has been to show the world his own younger life through a cinematic kaleidoscope. The movie may seem like the reflection of today’s world, because it’s about the everyday story of us. Other than the emotions and tragedy, he succeeded in adding some wit to the script, which could have been much more sadder than it’s generally seen.

To add further, The 400 Blows also belongs to an Escapist genre. The French New Wave it is, but it also carries the qualities of Escapist cinema. The protagonist and the very motive of the movie establish a point of escaping the brutal past, be it a personal troubled life or the scar left by the war. The then society is the very villain of the movie, and Antoine solely survives its wrath.



The movie starts with an opening scene showing Eiffel Tower of Paris, France.

The movie starts with an opening scene showing Eiffel Tower of Paris, France.

The All Boys School, the students are seen poking fun at the lecturer

The All Boys School, the students are seen poking fun at the lecturer

One of Antoine Doinel's classmate, dancing his way off the street

One of Antoine Doinel’s classmate, dancing his way off on the street, “Ah! Ah! Ah!..Stayin alive!!”

Children reacting while watching a Puppet show

Children reacting while watching a Puppet show

Antoine and his friend comprehends a double-crosser who tries stealing their typewriter

Antoine and his friend comprehends a double-crosser who tries stealing his typewriter

Antoine's thrown into a cell after he's nabbed by his father and after being handed over to the police

Antoine’s thrown into a cell after he’s nabbed by his father and is handed over to the police

Left: Antoine looking outside the police van, Right: He's crying over his unfortunte fate

Left: Antoine looking outside the police van, Right: He’s crying over his unfortunate fate

One of the most powerful scenes, Antoine makes a cigarette out of tobacco and stray paper inside his cell

One of the most powerful scenes, Antoine makes a cigarette out of tobacco and stray paper, inside his cell

Antoine's punished by the monitor of the Juvenile Detention Home for eating before everyone else started

Antoine’s punished by the monitor of the Juvenile Detention Home for eating before everyone else

3 young girls, probably aged 5-7, are locked up inside a cell of the Detention' Home

Another powerful scene; the 3 young girls, probably aged 5-7, are seen locked up inside a cell of the detention home.

Final scene of The 400 Blows

The protagonist, Antoine Doinel, runs away from the Detention in search of an unseen future –possibly, a happier one


Analyzing Post-WW II France

Post-WW II France, a nation formerly occupied and controlled by the Axis power, was built on an idea of escaping it’s horrendous past. To assimilate with the western nations, France introduced teaching English in their schools. Proper etiquette, better education and brighter future were as important the social issues back in France as they are now everywhere. The treatment of naivety was harsher with greater repercussions; nevertheless, the government believed that was the right way to improve its already ill-manifested denizens.

American Army trucks parade down the Champs-Elysées the day after the liberation of Paris by French and Allied troops, August 1944

American Army trucks parade down the Champs-Elysées, Aug 1944

The inhumane approach of treating the culprit was well observed in the then France. Children for their delinquency were reprimanded and isolated. [In one scene of the movie, 3 girls, possibly younger than 10, are seen caged inside the detention center. Those young kids left alone by their parents for their just misdeed are treated with such rebuke that even the current treatments of the correctional facilities around the world may seem childish.]

French new wave took an initiative of showing everything that was wrong with France and its modus oprandi. It’s idealism were mere doctrines which badly needed to be updated. [There’s no way but to escape the horrendous brutality of the system, and escape is what the protagonist does. He escapes his tragic familial confinement, then he escapes from the juvenile detention home.]

The 400 Blows “Les Quatre cent coups” (1959)

Directed by François TruffautWritten by F. Truffaut and Marcel Moussy, Produced by F. Truffaut and Georges CharlotStarring: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Calire Maurier and others

Distributed by Cocinor

12 angry men cover photo

Review & Synopsis: 12 Angry Men (1957) & Argument Analysis

In form, “12 Angry Men” is a courtroom drama. In purpose, it’s a crash course in those passages of the Constitution that promise defendants a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. It has a kind of stark simplicity.

~Roger Ebert (Film Critic)


Sydney Lumet‘s maiden direction  provides an important insight on analysis and questioning of the human conscience and bigotry, moreover why it should and shouldn’t accompany jurors during any case. A method with which a court announces the decision against any accused is supposedly the just moral duty the jury members must perform, as their ultimate decision has direct influence on someone’s life and death.

Official Poster of 12 Angry Men

Official Poster of 12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men doesn’t start with 12 men grudging. The question of reasoning and desire for justice raises an angst among them to become angrier. The exasperation starts from the warming temperature of the room, it convulses into hatred starting from biases, prejudice and carelessness, and finally subduing into a vex for a fairer trail.

A debate on a fairer judgement by the jury is the only theme of the movie. Solving the criminal case isn’t the motive but sending a young man to death is. The 12 men jury composed of unlike individuals in a compact room on a hottest day possible to reason over passing a verdict, where only one stands up for a fairer judgement and 11 other are recluse into their conformity of the accused’ guilt, is what 12 Angry Men is all about.

Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) is the one who champions the cause for accused’s innocence, and the whole movie follows the unabated debate to prove one man’s point as a reason for general consensus, hence saving someone’s life.

The assertive dialogues and the greater gesticulations of actors add life to the script, which could have been duller for full 95 minutes. Fonda’s immense persuasion and tense in bringing facts and possibilities into his arguments brings a general disapproval from fellow jurors, however, his presumptions help change the stubborn decisions of 11 others. Every evidence here is based on an assumption and every reasonable decision is made out of it!

Set in a single room the entire time, the movie shows nothing of the trail, court-room drama or duller arguments made by the attorneys but only the discussions of jurors before reaching the unanimous verdict. Evidences are shown only second-hand, as reasons for disposition of the case are thrown here and there to prove reasonable doubt for guilt. The background score is less yet subtle. The camera is centered on human emotions and facial expressions. None of the casts misses any important scene nor anyone of them lacks a powerful dialogue to support their character. The brilliant use of visual cues and camera angle adds subliminal elements to the movie which can only be felt in audience’s subconscious. Lumet’s unorthodox treatment of a sensitive subject on-screen comes out to be alive and amazing.



Not Guilty – 1/11

12 angry men snapshot

Jurors are sent to a room to decide on the fate of a young accused

Not Guilty – 2/10

12 angry men snapshot

Jurors being ready to vote

Not Guilty – 3/9

12 angry men snapshot

Only one, Juror # 8, calls “Not Guilty,” rest jurors are convinced of the crime

Not Guilty – 4/8

12 angry men snapshot

Juror #10 makes bigot and prejudiced remarks against the accused, which other find offensive

Not Guilty – 5/7

12 angry men snapshot

Juror #8 tries hard to convince others to find a reasonable doubt

Not Guilty – 6/6

12 angry men snapshot

Juror # 5 is the most articulate person in the entire team, who doesn’t even break sweat t all

Not Guilty – 7/5

12 angry men snapshot

Juror # 9, an old man, is supportive of Juror # 8 approach in analyzing the truth

Not Guilty – 8/4

12 angry men snapshot

Juror # 8 makes some insightful criticisms on the evidences and witnesses provided

Not Guilty – 9/3

12 angry men snapshot

Juror # 3 is the one who is most stubborn and declares Juror #8’s reasons a filth

Not Guilty – 10/2

12 angry men snapshot

Juror #3 tries proving the method of killing to Juror #8

Not Guilty – 11/1

12 angry men snapshot

All the jurors find Juror #3’s remarks against the case very offensive and unstandable

Not Guilty – 12/0

12 angry men snapshot

Juror #5 and #6 watch Juror #3 as he blabbers about his personal angst against criminals in general which no one else in the room is at all convinced of.

Analysis of Jurors’ Arguments

The jurors’ argument covers presumption of innocence and persuasions. Reasonable doubt is the burning factor among the few jurors, enlarged and popularized by only Juror # 8 to provide a fair judgement from fairer -supposed to be, jurors. If all the 12 jurors, based on their personal biases and prejudice without reasoning or fact finding, declare the case against the accused, the young boy will face capital pubishment. Juror #8 never confirms that the boy is guilty or not nor does he confirms his facts, his presumptions are all based on a reason for factual premise of the evidences and witnesses provided, therefore, his matter of persuasion among other 11 jurors is to look into things more tactfully and not judge the matter in a flick of second.

Ethnics and moralLogical reasons and Persuasions are all it takes for one person to correct the misconceptions of other. Persuasion is what Juror #8 uses to make other jurors to not decide on a whim, more importantly not on what they’ve heard and saw on the court but personal assurance of what could be correct and what couldn’t.

The tension’s born out of personal differences, personality conflict and body languages. As jurors find more reasons for the accused not being guilty, they channel their anger against personal biases and prejudice. At the end, the justice is served! All thanks to the value of reasoning and persuasion that helped change the 11 jury members’ conceited ideologies into a fairer and unanimous verdict.


12 Angry Men (1957)

Directed by Sydney Lumet, Written by Reginald Rose, Produced by Henry Fonda, Reginald Rose, Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Martim Balsam and others

Distributed by United Artists

ROOM 237: Unraveling the Mysteries of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980)

“Symmetry, subtlety, and the thin line between civility and barbarism.” — Kevin Ernest Long

I’m in this passionate love with Stanley Kubrick’s mind. I wonder, how he finds these undefinable elements and adds depth to his characters. The deafening silence that prolongs the plots of his movies and the sudden yet subtle explode of climax is unimaginable. My love for Kubrick is based on his story-lines crafted with finesse and his actors who add mcharm to their characters with infinite improvisations and retakes.

Kubrick montage

A true perfectionist, Stanley Kubrick is quite the smartest and intelligent film-maker ever.

ROOM 237

An exemplary examining documentary on Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining (1980), and the obscure elements existing in the movie.

Offering diverse theories yet controversial, these film fanatics unravel the mysteries hidden in Kubrick’s movie. As it may sound crazy, the theories presented are personal findings and recollections of people who dedicated an important portion of their life decoding the movie’s messages.

Official Poster; Room 237

Official Poster; Room 237

ROOM 237 takes you to an Odyssey inside Kubrick’s mind! Dissected and displayed in front on the table, these are the showcase of various ideas pertaining to historic and cultural facts embedded into his movie which are finally revealed. They presumably fail to justify the authenticity of their hypothesis, as it cannot be validated with Kubrick who is no longer alive, however, the suggestions made by these experts were the eternal part of Kubrick’s life which can or do relate to his film-making style.

There are 9 segments, each decoding the metaphors which were possibly intentionally added by Kubrick during the filming to embed the message he wished to deliver yet denied public from seeing it. An exemplification of product marketing —Subliminal Marketing.

Some of the most Horrifying Theories

#1 The Fake Moon Landing (Apollo 11)

One theorist suggests that the Apollo 11 landing on the moon was faked, moreover, it was produced by Kubrick in a Hollywood studio. He points out that he found telltale signs of front projection used in moon landing footage, which is primarily used during film-making. Also, there are subliminal signs in the various plots of the movie that suggests that Kubrick intentionally embedded those images that profess that the landing was faked.

Room 237 of the hotel room is the base of all the nastiness and evil. In this very room, Jack encounters a ghost and hence starts being lunatic. Later Danny stops by the room staring at the very door, like he suspects there is something hidden inside -things he mustn’t know. Dick Hallorann, a chef, confirms Danny’s doubt by declaring the fact that he must never talk or care about Room 237. It’s prohibited from Danny’s eyes as well as the truth of moon landing’s prohibited from the public.

This very room also defines a part of Kubrick’s life he contracted to NASA and could never profess about it to anyone else. It’s a burden and regret he carried all his life that he wished to relive and so he did through The Shining, 11 years later.

He (Theorist) points to the knitted Apollo 11 sweater that Danny wears, and the fact that a carpet pattern resembles the Apollo launching pad as evidence that the film is an elaborate apology of sorts for Kubrick’s involvement.

#2 The Holocaust

Another theorist suggests, the movie is about The Holocaust.  He connects Jack’s sinister recitation of the Big Bad Wolf’s refrain to a Disney production where the wolf is an anti-Semitic caricature. Kubrick always wanted to make a movie based on the events of The Holocaust, however, he later dropped the whole idea.

It’s suggested that Kubrick sympathized with the whole holocaust thing. His prior life was mostly influenced by the horrifying events of WW II in Europe, and he showed the same through his movie by embedding subtle imagery of Nazi brutality and genocide of Jews. He’s an auteur, re-exhibiting the memories of Holocaust through The Shining.

A typewriter in most of the scenes plays prominent role. It’s randomly shown almost all the time in the movie. Typewriters played prominent role during Nazi occupation as well. Its extensive use in typing out and making a list of Jewish population was humongous during The Holocaust. If your are to watch The Schindler’s List, typewriters are extensively used and shown during the entire span of the movie.


#3 The Genocide of Native Americans

Kubrick’s ability to insert sublime elements in his movies is well known. In many instances, through the scenes and dialogues, Kubrick tried exemplifying the genocide that occurred in the greater American landscape against Native Americans.

The use of cans of Calumet Baking Powder in the backdrop, the poster of a Native hanging by the wall and the iconic elevator scene where the blood floods the whole hallway -suggests the height of American Imperialism which crushed the repression of Natives. Despite our denial throughout the history, Kubrick suggested that the truth shall come out either way and we must repent our wrongdoing one day. In the movie, it’s the gushing out of a flood of blood from nowhere.

In an early scene, the hotel’s manager, Stuart Ullman, claims that the property was build on the site of native American’s burial ground. Therefore, the scene where the blood is flooding the hallway signifies the very blood of those crushed souls which are buried beneath.


The Shining (Movie) Vs The Shining (Book)

Written by Stephen King, The Shining (1976) explores the objectives of paranormal in a rural hotel site and how a sane man is possessed by lunacy and is compelled to turn blood-thirsty for his own family. When Kubrick adopted the story, King stepped in with his creative inputs for the movie, however, after the movie was produced, it turned out to be way different than the book which infuriated King on a creative ground.

King’s important themes, such as the disintegration of the family and the dangers of alcoholism, were ignored. He quoted;

What’s basically wrong with Kubrick’s version of The Shining is that it’s a film by a man who thinks too much and feels too little; and that’s why, for all its virtuoso effects, it never gets you by the throat and hangs on the way real horror should.

Stanley Vs Stephen

Stanley Vs Stephen

Kubrick along with Diane Johnson co-wrote the entire movie. As assumed by the theories presented, he had everything different in his mind about it. His motive was not to present what King had created but what he witnessed in his life. Jack Torrance is Stanely Kubrick and The Shining is his own story.

The movie confuses you in most levels and makes you wonder; how come Jack is possessed by a demon, why does he keep seeing things that do not exist moreover interact with them, and why does Jack appears in the picture dated 1921 shown at the end of the film. It leaves a sense of wandering and exploration that doesn’t end with the movie. It’s his trademark style. There are various levels of psychological elements involved with the project, most of which are decoded and published by Room 237.

Be it The Holoacust, the genocide of natives, fake moon landing, the myth of Minotaur and his labyrinth or the psychologial englihtment of little Danny throughout the entire span, the movie silently takes your away into a journey that resembles 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). A masterpiece, a cult and possibly the smartest movie ever made!

Room 237 (2012)

Directed by Rodney Ascher, Produced by Tim Kirk, Starring: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan and Jay Weidner

Distributed by IFC Films, IFC Midnight