New worlds that you didn’t know existed are always interesting. That was the approach I took when deciding to go to the documentary, Room 237 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2085910/?ref_=sr_1. The trailer was intriguing, and I had never heard anything about any of the ideas presented. I had to see what it was all about. Room 237 is a documentary about the various theories that Kubrick fans and fans of his movie The Shining have promulgated, mostly on the internet . The details are impressive. Some fans have even tried to map the hotel depicted in the movie, because if you really pay attention, the way Kubrick presents the hotel in the movie really is impossible. For example, Wendy’s in the kitchen and turns into a doorway and, in one step, turns again into another hallway that totally fails to account for the store rooms and walk-in freezer that we see in the previous scene. You may not consciously be aware of this while watching the movie, but on some level it leaves a lot of people feeling disoriented and wondering about what the heck they just saw. And that’s just the beginning.
I started out being interested, but somewhat skeptical. Some of the theories seem to be a bit of a stretch at first, but by the end of the movie, the preponderance of weirdness will at least make you wonder exactly just what Kubrick was up to. And that’s the point of this documentary. No conclusions are made by the filmmakers. They just present all the theories and symbols found in the movie by fans to the viewer. There is a ton of film footage from not only Kubrick’s films, but from other films that illustrate what the theorists are talking about.
My favorite part was the proposed reason for the wreck we see along the highway in the opening scenes. In the book, Jack drives a red VW. In the movie he drives a yellow VW. Stephen King was quite vocal about disliking all the changes that Kubrick made to his story. Jack in the movie drives past an accident involving a semi truck and a red VW. Obviously, there’s not much left of the red VW after the semi smashes into it. That was Kubrick’s way of telling King that The Shining http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081505/?ref_=sr_1 was his movie and he could do what he wanted with King’s story.
You should really see Room 237, if you are a Kubrick fan or loved The Shining. You will look at both with a different perspective afterwards. And that’s why documentaries rock.