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Stoker

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode
Director: Chan-wook Park

Stoker is nothing like I've seen before. It certainly is captivating to watch the scenes unfold as viewers get to the bottom of the allure that the family holds. There is some great cinematography in the works, and there are great actors attached to this project. There are also numerous striking scenes, each scene detrimental to the depth and the reason behind the plot. For the English film debut of Korean filmmaker Chan-wook Park, he certainly has a hit in his hands.

India Stoker is a quiet and strange girl, whose life began to unravel when her father passed away. She was left in the care of her mother, whom she doesn't quite get along with very well. The death of her father introduced a stranger in their lives, her uncle, as he moved in with the family, entering their lives. However, there was something strange about him, which frightened yet intrigued India, as she became attracted to finding out more about this man, and the mysterious aura that allures him.

The film featured great visual work. The transition of scenes were done creatively, as it passed from one moment to the next. Some of the scenes itself depicted the powerful points of the film: the knowledge of one character, the transition to the next. These powerful scenes are detrimental to the development of the film, as it etched the relationship Charlie and India had, and at the same time, dived further into the mystery that the film was working on. The film moved in such a way that we don't really know what's going to happen next or why a certain part is happening, but as it moved along, it gets explained. There was great attention paid to details, and there were a lot of them. These details, they occur at moments where their presence are questioned, but as the film goes further, these details fall back to place. 

Who knew Wentworth Miller could write something like this? I mean, we all know him from Prison Break, and that was that. It's fairly obvious that he did have some influence writing his piece, as there were factors that were familiar with other works. The screenplay was weak, dialogue-wise, and there were some loop holes, but it doesn't hinder the fact that you'd want to get at the bottom of it all, to know what exactly happened and why it's all happening. He has talent, but I think it helped that a good director has taken lead to his screenplay and transformed it to a beautiful visual work. The characters themselves were cold, but they stuck to the personality that the story gave them, which in turn makes you think that everything that happened was in character, and that they were really meant to react that way. 

It helps that the film got a great array of actors to play these personalities. Mia Wasikowska made an excellent India Stoker. She carried that look of innocence, yet as the film progressed, she was able to shred that image and turn into a woman that she was meant to become. She also had great on-screen chemistry with Matthew Goode, who played Charlie Stoker. Good may not be a famous actor, but I admire some of his work choices; he's managed to partake in works that are great and acclaimed. He played the cold, manipulative uncle down pat; he didn't overreact, but he didn't downplay the role either. My favorite scene of theirs was the one with the shoes; that whole scene was just a haunting transition! I think everyone raves about their piano scene as well. It was well executed, and the piece they played was perfect as accompaniment, the notes hitting the right emotions. Nicole Kidman was also great in her role. I loved how she looked and played an oblivious person, but she actually knows more than anyone thinks. 

The movie might be a bit confusing, considering the transitions from one scene to the next, not to mention the flashbacks that slowly form a coherent thought. Still it captivates the audience to follow the story between the family, and boasts beautiful imagery as well. 

Comments

  1. It's a strange beast of a flick, but it's a lot different from most thrillers I'm used to seeing, so I guess that deserves at least some credit. Good review.

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    1. Thank you! :) It was unlike from the thrillers I usually see, but some parts are heavily influenced by other films.

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  2. So glad you liked it! You should check out Park's other films, they all have such incredible atmosphere. Stoker is so far in my top 5 of the year, impressive for Miller given this is his first script.

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    1. Definitely going to check out more of his films! :)

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  3. The second picture is so creepy. I adored Prison Break and Miller, so I'll be looking out for this film, no doubt. Lovely review!

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    1. Thank you! This is one of my favorite releases this year; Miller delivers a story that does captivate your attention.

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  4. One of my favorites of 2013, but sadly only seen once. Mia(not going to try and pronounce her last) was really good. She displayed an era of confidence and grace that I have not seen in most young actresses. I will agree that the screenplay was kind of weak, but yes I still wanted to know more about this story. Great job

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    1. This was one of my favorites as well; it's interesting, even if the script itself was quite weak.

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