From the director of ‘Oldboy’, ‘Lady Vengeance’, ‘I Am A Cyborg’ and ‘Thirst’ comes the US debut of Park Chan-wook with ‘STOKER’. To begin my thoughts on this I’m bluntly going to say its bloody terrific. While it might be physically tame compared to his ‘Vengeance Trilogy’, emotionally though ‘Stoker’ is bloody excellent. Never have I felt so satisfied by a film which has style AND content, something which is extremely rare in modern cinema.
The thing with ‘Stoker’ is that Chan-wook’s direction is done not for a visual (almost art) eye, but the way the characters occupy the screen. You never see the three (bloody fantastically acted) main characters played by Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman without one of them revealing their thoughts on themselves. Furthermore the direction is so perfectly paced that the film could communicate with its audience without actually have any dialogue being said (like a silent film). And, yes, before you might shout YES DOM BUT DOES THAT MEAN THE STORY SIMPLISTIC, I would reply shame on you as with what respected US critic Roger Egbert said ”if a film can’t communicate without sounds you haven’t made a memorable film for the audience”. This of course is helped by the level of depth in the Mise-En-Scene, as it packs a lot of the emotional development the main characters go down with the images on screen. Also note the Hitchcockian undertones.
One of the more amazing thing about this film as well is that ‘Prison Break” (and star of that horrible Mariah Carey music video) Wentworth Miller wrote the film, which shows maybe he has talents elsewhere then just acting. Also interesting is that the Fox blockbuster editor Nicolas De Toth has edited this film which in itself is just remarkable; words can’t describe the ”editation” of this film. Some criticism could come from fans of Park Chan-wook. They could say that, fundamentally speaking here, there are no real themes which over lap to his other work, and again its arthouse sensibilities will divide audiences. Still thought anyone studying film will find this a fine project to undertake and to do an analysis on. To end though, it’s something no matter what you think – YOU NEED TO WATCH AND EXPERIENCE, and something which will appear in critics top ten’s at the end of the year. As Fox Searchlight marketed this film with the tagline of ‘’Innocent’s End’s’’, this film delivers on this perfectly, something no matter what you might that – you can universally agree on.