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Review: Stoker [2013]

My love for Matthew Goode was reignited recently when I watched the first season of “Discovery of Witches”. That performance made me remember that I haven’t seen Stoker, another movie he starred in, so I decided to see it on a rainy Sunday night.

It’s a strange, sinister coming of age story, where the girl realizes she is more fucked up than she can imagine, and she has her family genes to blame for it. “Stoker” starts with the death of India’s father and the sudden appearance of her uncle in her life. His creepy behavior and strong interest in her makes her curious and she soon discovers she is more alike to him than she was to her father. I won’t get into details, but let’s just say it involves murder.

One of the main reasons I loved this movie was the directing. Park Chang-Wook, a South Koreean director, has one of the most interesting minds in the business. I highly recommend you seeing Handmaiden, his other movie- equally weird, but absolutely amazing. I love the way he sees the world around him, how he shoots the scenes, and how close attention he gives to such small details. That, paired with an adequate score, makes a normal scene, like removing a belt, for example, or playing the piano, ten times stronger and more appealing. That is, I think, a better word for it. Appealing. Alluring. Visually beautiful. Although the movie was very dark and creepy, I loved watching it from beginning to end. I loved the colors, the shots, the editing, everything. And yes, I know, a big part of it is due to the cinematography and editing, but I do believe the vision comes from him.

Story-wise, it was, like I said, dark. It’s a thriller, and a fucked up one, considering the revelation at the end of it, but it has a strange appeal to it. And it’s mostly due to the actors. I loved all three main characters: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode. They did a great job portraying a dysfunctional family, and Mia was especially captivating as a lonely, curious child who realizes where her pleasure lies in. Kidman, as always, was stunning as a bored stay at home mother, and I especially loved the monologue she gave to India in the second part of the movie. As for Matthew Goode, you know I love him, so of course I enjoyed his performance in “Stoker”- he was deliciously creepy in it. An interesting tidbit is that the script was written by Wentworth Miller, which is a surprise, considering he is known as Michael from Prison Break. Still, it was a great story, very well told. I am curious to see what he writes next.

Overall, I highly enjoyed “Stoker”, from the first shot to the ending scene which gave my musical obsession of the week: Emily Wells- Becomes the Color. I suggest you see it, especially if you don’t mind dark movies and / or fucked up characters.

4 thoughts on “Review: Stoker [2013]

    1. Yup, I was surprised, too, but he definitely delivered. Apparently, there is another movie written by him (The Disappointments Room), but that flopped.

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