Stanley Kubrick’s iteration of A Clockwork Orange is a wonderful adaptation of the novel among film critics. Kubrick manages to capture the gritty nature of the novel. Although Burgess was “disappointed with Kubrick’s film of the novel because he thought it elevated and valorized Alex, the novel’s evil protagonist”, the film does an excellent job in recreating the dystopia of Burgess’ imagination (Kaplan 208). The medium of film allows Alex’s youth and beauty to contrast with his surroundings. The film begins with Alex intensely staring into the camera, asserting his dominance over the Korova milk bar.
This establishes the importance of eyes.
Kubrick’s interpretation of the Ludovico technique in the film follows the novel closely. The way Kubrick envisions and directs the scenes captures the agony of Alex during his treatment. Alex writhes in pain as the violent and sexual images produces uncontrollable sickness. The film’s depiction of the Ludovico technique is unnerving. The wide-eyed look, the gaping mouth all indicate extreme fear and terror in Alex.
The book is extreme and the movie tries to emulate this as much as it can. The limiting circumstances of censorship and moral obligations prevent Kubrick from recreating many aspects of the Ludovico technique. Regardless, Kubrick manages to give us a “shockhorrow” show. The following clip shows Alex going through the aversion therapy for the first time.