Doctor Sleep – Movie Review – A movie which stays true to its Title

The film Doctor Sleep is based on Stephen king’s novel of the same name. It is a sequel to his earlier novel “The shining” of which Kubrick made a brilliant film in 1980. Now where the problem starts is this film is marketed as a sequel to Kubrick’s shining, which it is; but would anyone who has loved this Kubrick’s classic consider this a worthy successor?

The film opens with a child being murderded, in which there are a group of supernatural people called “True Knot” who kill children and take up what they call “the steam” into canisters which would help them survive. Then, the screenplay shifts to the kid we saw in The Shining- Dan Torrance, who is now an adult dealing with alcoholism and he still has the ability to shine. The shining is kind of a mystical process through which he can heal the pain of the dying and put them to sleep, hence earning the name Doctor Sleep. He befriends a child, Abra who has greater shining abilities than him. The cult’s leader Rosy the hat wants to kill her and take her steam. How Dan rescues her? Will Dan be able to overpower the demons of the overlook hotel? is what is followed by in the rest of the story.

The fundamental problem with this film is its run time of 152 minutes, there are a few dialogue scenes which are not at all engaging and which will put you to sleep, but you will be awake within minutes as if your soul has escaped your body, such is the music designed by The Newton brothers. The film buys you in within the first 10 minutes, but the interest is not lasting after that. The interest only rises up in the shortly over stretched climatic battle scene. What stands as an enemy to itself is the challenge it has pushed itself into of remaining the sequel of a cult classic. The sequel curse is what has bitten this film.

Dan Torrence at the overlook hotel

It defies its own logic in many ways. The kid we see in The Shining and the man we see in terms of age are two different people, but still there is nothing that emotionally connects this man with that kid and that’s the worst part. Besides that I didn’t even feel any emotional connection with the characters. There is a fight scene in which the supernatural villains and Abra come face to face. Dan disappears and starts shooting all of them with machine guns made for hunting. And surprisingly out of thin air even these supernatural creatures pull out the machine guns. I was like damn, aren’t these supposed to be some sort of supernatural creatures, then what the hell are they doing with these machine guns? And then as expected the film lands at the iconic overlook hotel from “the shining” and over there things get interesting. I wish the whole film was played out at that level of action that took place at the overlook.

Somewhere in between staying true to its source material, explaining to us, the author intended meaning of the shining and trying to be a worthy sequel this film has lost its own purpose. At the end of all this there is nothing exceptional about this film and the sequel of the shining fails to shine on.

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