Rant and Rave: ‘Stoker’

Rating: 3.0

Even in the brink of total aberration, Stoker plays with your mind and puts you on the edge of your seats in a state of confusion and wonder.

Stoker is a psychological suspense thriller starring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.

Image courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Upon the death of India Stoker’s (Mia Wasikowska) father, Charles Stoker (Matthew Goode), an uncle she never knew, suddenly introduces himself into the life of the Stoker family. With India’s estranged mother (Nicole Kidman), they start living together under one roof as the mystery of the strange man slowly unfolds.

As Stoker is an entry of the Sundance Film Festival, it is not lacking in artistic cinematography and elements all throughout the movie. The entire film is altogether aesthetically pleasing, containing many eye catching moments and scenes.

At the start of the movie, not much is revealed to the audience concerning the intentions of all the characters, playing more on the creative cinematography rather than the story in itself. However, as more of the plot is revealed, the true identities of the main characters are expounded on more. The movie hides its mystery very well, only revealing them at the last moment. It always leaves you assuming and making the movie seemingly predictable, yet always surprises you along the way.

Mia Wasikowska once again portrays an eccentric character, like her previous role in Alice in Wonderland, only darker and more serious. Her stoic and peculiar personality emanates all throughout the movie. Though it is a far cry from the lighter mood she depicted in her previous movie, much of the same elements can be felt from her performance. Nicole Kidman’s role in the entire movie is however something that is questionable. Her character is seemingly redundant as she provides little role both in India Stoker’s character development and the story development.

The story tends to confuse the audience of the purpose and intention of each character in the move, requiring heavy analysis of the scene and plotline. Numerous foreshadowing elements can be seen in the movie and sometimes more symbolic elements as well. Though this shows the creativity of the script for keeping the movie as unpredictable as possible, this makes the movie not suitable for light viewing.

Altogether, Stoker is something that is both visually breathtaking and mentally teasing. Though not as profound as the likes of Christopher Nolan movies, It does not leave you completely mind-boggled, but nevertheless leaves you in a phase of bewilderment, a must-watch movie for those who wish to step outside of their comfort zone.

Anthony John Tang

By Anthony John Tang

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