Movie Discussion: Stoker
Warning! This entire discussion contains spoilers for Stoker.
After India's father dies, her Uncle Charlie, whom she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Director: Chan-wook Park
Writer: Wentworth Miller
Actors: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, David Alford, Matthew Goode
Release Year: 2013
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Scott Hardie | July 20, 2013
Wentworth Miller wrote this?! That's like Channing Tatum writing The Cabin in the Woods.
I loved everything else about the movie, but I hated the final scene. That's partly for its gratuitous, too-far-over-the-top violence, and partly for what direction it took the heroine in. I guess that's where the movie was headed all along, but it sure felt like the second-to-last scene was about her boldly rejecting that destiny. (Her actions in the final scene were certainly not necessary from a narrative standpoint: She could have blamed her uncle for the disapparances.) I guess I hate the final scene most because it's a big ugly ink stain on a masterpiece of a painting, an atonal ker-PLUNK at the end of a transcendent piano concerto. What a way to screw up an otherwise perfect movie.
Why was the uncle so obsessed with his niece in the first place? If the movie ever said, I missed it. Some commenters online said that the uncle sensed she was like him, but considering that they never met until the movie started, that's hard to believe. "He's crazy" isn't a satisfactory explanation either. "He wants an heir" is the best guess I've heard, but that doesn't jibe with the sexual overtones of his behavior, which may have been entirely a result of the heroine's perspective.
Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman are great in this, but Matthew Goode steals the whole movie. Damn, that guy's creepy. The spell would have been broken if any of the three leads were not perfect, but they were.
Judging from iMDB and Netflix user reviews, it sounds like quite a few people found the film way too stilted and boring. It's definitely the kind of movie that tries to create a mood, and it's going to work for some viewers and not for others. Did it work for you?