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Saturday, July 6

Stoker

Innocence ends where awareness begins. There is a very thin line between sanity and lunacy and no point of return to conventional truths. Park Chan-wook takes a bold stand with his first English-language debut movie -Stoker- shaped as an audacious horror drama and takes you on a joy ride that will shake your wits.




 




India, played by Mia Wasikowska, is a lonely teenager, whose psychological state of minds sets the tone for the entire Stoker movie. This is a remarkable performance from Mia Wasikowska, whose still features -except for the game of the eyebrows- are an indicator of her inner emotional distress. Daddy's girl, India loses her beloved father on the day she turns 18 and faces the controversial arrival of her mysterious Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). The intriguing man moves with India and her mother (Nicole Kidman) right after the funeral and his presence is an illustration of the tensions between mother and daughter. One by one, people around the two women star to disappear and the lovely uncle- impeccably dressed, incredibly good-looking, elegant, cold and always on a diet- is the overprotective presence that shines over India's every step.


The director, Park Chan-wook, is famous for his violent, cruel movies, though the level of melodrama and brutality in this one is more tempered as compared to Oldboy or Lady Vengeance. The film is scarier than a thriller, preparing the viewer for the creepy blooming of India in an outburst of vengeance, betrayal and violence. Stoker might not be as bloody or violent as his previous pictures but there are recurring themes that haunt all Mr.Park Chan-wook's creations: incest, sexuality, frenzy, obsession. Everything is stylish and flowing, people acts properly, looks are flawless, food appears delicious, houses and gardens are neat- but appearances are always deceptive and evil lurks under every perfect gesture.

Great performances in the movie- Mathew Goode as good uncle Charlie has fascinating, yet insane eyes and moves likes a feline, falsely unaware of everything around him, yet on the prey at all times. Mia Wasikowska as India is a solitary young woman questioning the whispers around her and on the verge of bursting into bloom, with a hidden sexuality and a constant urge, whereas Nicole Kidman, caught in a stale marriage and eager to get to know better her brother-in-law, hasn't aged a bit and makes a lush, rich appearance; in time, some women gain in sexuality what they miss in freshness. It is a compelling movie that makes us wonder about the violence within ourselves and the strength/cowardliness it takes to voice it.