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Movie review – STOKER

| 20 August 2013 | Reply

Directed by Park Chan-Wook
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroony
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
7.5/10

Stoker movie poster

A dark and brooding coming of age thriller, Stoker slowly unravels the disturbing tale of awkward teen India (Wasikowska), whose father (Mulroony) has died in a horrible accident on her 18th birthday.

Discovering she has an uncle, Charles (Goode), when he moves in after Richard’s wake, India finds him awakening dark urges in herself, and their charismatic and creepy parallel pasts are slowly and skillfully teased out as he flirts with both India and her alcoholic emotional wreck of a mother, played by Kidman.

Mesmerizing cinematography and performances get the watcher through a few brief slow patches, but it’s the inappropriateness of Charlie’s behaviour that will have you squirming in your seat.

Korean director (Old Boy) speaks no English so needed everything translated in both directions while making the film, perhaps going some way to explaining the uniqueness of the film’s style and masterful disjointedness of the flashback scenes which parallel the big revelations in Stoker’s climax.

After the shocking truth is out, be prepared for one last revelation as India finally comes into her own, visually as well as emotionally. ‘Nuf said, lest I let any more slip.

Suffice to say, Stoker won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but this new American Gothic tale is bold, taut and mysterious, and expertly made, and it will reward those who invest the time, whilst simultaneously disturbing them.

Shane

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