Stoker was one of my most anticipated movies of 2013. However, because it was part of those artsy independent film categories, my suburban theatre didn’t have it. When it was released, I bought it at full price. Who would know that I’d wait all the way till now to watch it.
Director: Park Chan Wook
On her 18th birthday, India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) loses her father (Dermot Mulroney) in a car accident. The day of the funeral, her mysterious and charming uncle, Charlie shows up out of the blue and decides to stay with them to help her and her mother (Nicole Kidman) out. India tries to figure out why Uncle Charlie appears out of nowhere as she didn’t even know about his existence before her father’s death and slowly she becomes attracted to him.
Unlike a lot of you, I’m not too familiar with Park Chan Wook. I’ve only ever seen one short film by him called Cut and it was part of the 3 Extremes movie that I reviewed for the Halloween marathon 2012. You can check it out HERE if you’d like. I only did a brief review as well but Park Chan Wook does have a very cool, mysterious style in kind of a mentally disturbed way. I like it a lot and I promise that I’ll get to Oldboy and Thirst soon. Stoker was my full conversion because it was all sorts of awesome. I loved how it was filmed. The shots were nice and the atmosphere matched the mood perfectly. It was somewhat strange and mysterious but at the same time, it was intriguing.
THE best part of Stoker, hands-down, has to be the cast. Lets start with Nicole Kidman. I’m a huge fan of her to start. I’ve been slowing down on watching her films lately but she was pretty good as the widow who is attracted to her dead husband’s brooding brother and also, a mother who really doesn’t know what she’s doing but seems to want to be closer to her daughter but at the same time, in this controlling way but still remains distant. And then, I start wondering if there’s more. Either way, its not super clear but it didn’t bother me too much. Let me say, her glares and reactions were quite good.
Our main lead is the talented Mia Wasikowska. She always seems to pick up these peculiar roles. The first time I saw her was in Alice in Wonderland. Despite that movie having certain flaws, she was not and I thought she made a good Alice. Then after that, she played in the very awesome Jane Eyre as the renowned Charlotte Bronte character from the novel, you can check out the review HERE! Suffice to say, that I’m quite impressed with her and to me, when I first saw the poster of this, I was thinking that this was exactly what she would be awesome in. She definitely did not disappoint me. It was a pretty captivating performance because her character was so quiet and it was all just her analysing her Uncle Charlie. It had a lot to do with her body language and her glares, that sort of thing. In general, this is a pretty quiet movie with not all that much dialogue to begin with.
As much as Mia was great, Matthew Goode stole the show as Uncle Charlie. This guy was an awesome mix of mysterious, creepy, weird, and very charming. We never really see what Uncle Charlie wants until the end and its just totally crazy. The dialogue, the connection with Mia’s character India and equally with Nicole Kidman’s character. Every single time he was on screen I was totally drawn in.
Another thing I really loved about Stoker was the music. Maybe its because I play the piano, the music itself had a lot of that. I totally loved that weird piano scene with India. I’ve mentioned it here but I can see how this movie might not be for everyone. Its slow and not very wordy. Its all about just how they react, India’s analysis of Charlie and her mother, and just seeing how India discovers a bit more about herself and her family.
Overall, Stoker shot up as one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2013. It feels good to have expectations exceeded. Its a great movie. Deep, weird, mysterious, suspenseful, and in a way, somewhat disturbing but done so well. Chan Wook Park is a very awesome director who captures some nice scenes and the cast is amazing. Stoker is worth a watch just to see Matthew Goode in this awesome role 🙂 I highly recommend it!
Did you see Stoker? Did you like it? If you didn’t, what didn’t you like about it?