Saturday, March 16, 2013


Movie Name: Stoker
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Park Chan-Wook
Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Ralph Brown, Phyllis Somerville, Alden Ehrenreich, Lucas Till, Harmony Korine, Judith Godreche, Tyler Von Tagen
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

"Stoker" is director Park Chan-Wook's first english language film, following his successful korean films "Thirst", "Oldboy" and "Lady Vengeance" (to name but a few). The film follows the Stoker family, in particular India, a young woman, whose father unexpectedly dies on her 18th birthday. Her long missing uncle reappears precisely around the time of the funeral, which prompts suspicion from India, and causes joy in her distant mother. As her uncle starts inserting himself in India's life, the seemingly placid life the Stoker family has enjoyed starts unraveling and changing, forever changing the young woman's life.
"Stoker" is a beautifully directed film, with a stunning cinematography and editing, which makes the film a pleasure to look at. It has a perfect pacing in the way it builds the tension and drama between the characters, however that's precisely where the issue lies with this film. The main faulting issue in this otherwise beautiful film, is the complete cliché ridden screenplay, which makes no use of what could have been a dark and interesting premise. The actors all try to breathe some life into characters that are barely explained (why does India resent her mother and vice versa), though Mia Wasikowska does manage to build a character filled with doubt, self questioning and ultimately becoming a woman. Nicole Kidman (whose face is emotionless these days) and Matthew Goode in particular are not so fortunate in their performances. Matthew Goode tries to build a menacing persona, but there's a spark definitely missing in his performance - this was definitely a case of miscasting. A beautiful but ultimately hollow film, which crumbles due to a weak screenplay.