Now I will admit I have not read the book, nor will I in the near future (I have so many other books on my list already) but I am a die hard fan of this film and I don’t think the book will ever change that. The interesting thing is that film and literature are not the same, nor should they be. Yes, we all love to complain how films do not exactly follow the novel, but film is another art medium of itself.
The Shining, in my opinion, is one of the best films ever made (and much to my relief, BFI has it in its Top 250 so I have some backup for me:) ). When I finished watching it for the first time, rather than being completely freaked out, I was amazed, thrilled and puzzled. Each element in the film seems like a puzzle piece; they seem to not fit together but they do. However it leaves the viewer completely dumbfounded (what IS with those two, um, men that Shelley sees in the bedroom!).
I was determined to believe that there was a meaning behind the film, and I still do even though some people say there isn’t. I find Kubrick interesting in that sense, and I think he had to have some underlying plot or theme to it. The two that make the most sense to me are the parallels to children fairy tales (ex. Room 237 like Hansel and Gretel and most obvious Jack Nicholson as the Big Bad Wolf chopping down the door. There is a great gifset here that shows how similar the two scenes are to one another).
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this movie and each time I watch it I find something new. My favorite scenes to analyze are the scenes in The Gold Room. Jack’s seemingly pleasant attitude when talking to Lloyd, the bartender, the reflection of the light in Jack’s eyes, even the paleness of Lloyd, as if he’s not really there; I love it!