Stoker

Park Chan-Wook's first American movie is his usual superbly stylish, masterfully suspenseful and gorgeously inventively shot. More in common with "Sympathy for Mr Vengeance" and "Thirst" than his most famous "Old Boy". Wentworth Miller's script deserved being shortlisted on the 2010 Black List for being interesting, and although nothing groundbreaking about the thin plot, Miller managed to create two (and a half) wondrously complex characters. The story started off a bit slow but really gets going when it focuses only on the three leads. And the two main juicy roles were played marvellously well by Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman. It is a crime that the insanely brilliant Wasikowska is so overlooked and underrated, whereas Jennifer Lawrence (who although is talented too, but pales to the range of Wasikowska...come on! Even Meryl Streep has publicly praised her) is an Oscar winner. Wasikowska's portrayal of the lead character is an ever evolving curiosity and an enigma; at times fragile and delicate, and at times strong and tough. It's such a marvel to watch her. Kidman too held her own in a largely supporting role. She gave a complexity to a mother that could have simply been one-dimensional just through simple body language, facial expressions and tone. Kudos too to Matthew Goode who was undeniably creepy and played off excellently against the two ladies. In the end, it was ultimately Park's brilliant direction that brought this psychological thriller to an all new playing field. Odd angles, non-chronological story telling, quick cuts and edits, off-kilter lighting and shadow play all makes this a visual fest. Clint Mansell's score was also effective in creating the mood and tension throughout the movie.

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