Opening in theatres this Friday from director Chan-wook Park and Fox Searchlight Pictures comes a tale of total family dysfunction with STOKER.
This film tells the story of India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska), a young girl who is mourning the loss of her father, Richard (Dermot Mulroney) in an accident. Living on an estate with her mother Evie (Nicole Kidman), India has withdrawn from everyone.
Then the arrival of Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) peaks India’s interest. Although she doesn’t know anything about her uncle, his quirks and mysterious nature bring out feelings of affection for him.
India learns that there can be an even darker side to family life!
FINAL WORD: Wasikowska has made quite the name for herself with memorable roles such as THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, ALBERT NOBBS and LAWLESS. She has a presence and sometimes what she doesn’t say is much more powerful than what she does. That is the case here with her role as India. Taking the pain of losing her father, the agony of a torn relationship with her mother and the angst of a teen brings a dynamic performance.
Kidman as Evie is one confused widow-mother. Feeling the possibility of spending her life alone with a daughter that respond is too much for her to take. The scene between mother and daughter as Evie says, “I can’t wait to watch life tear you apart” is spine chilling. Mulroney as father Richard has a small role but still manages to make his presence in the film felt. Sometimes doing the right thing can be taken in the harshest way.
The king of creepy here is dear Uncle Charlie! Goode seems to play this role with ease (that might, in itself be chilling!) as a man who is obviously after a life that includes no consequences. The interaction between India and Uncle Charlie also makes it clear that darkness runs in the family. I truly enjoyed this gritty performance.
Other cast includes: David Alford as the Reverend, Phyllis Somerville as Mrs. McGarrick, Harmony Korine as Mr. Feldman, Lucas Till as Pitts, Alden Ehrenreich as Whip, Jaxon Johnson as Jonathan Stoker and Jacki Weaver as Gwendolyn Stoker.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give STOKER three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This director Parks amazing technique of layering a story that prevents the viewer from even guessing where the story will lead. The three main characters take us on a ride that sucks the air out of the room before you realize it has happened!
Coming in at an hour and thirty-eight minutes I have to say its perfection. The story could have easily gone wrong but Park knows what he is doing. Combing dark and heavy themes with underlying symbolism, this film is definitely one to revisit!
In the end – do not disturb the family!
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