Chan-wook Park’s English-language debut “Stoker” (2013) is strangely beautiful, vaguely disturbing and perfectly stylized, with infinite attention to detail and breathtaking performances.

Stoker (2013)
My ears hear what others cannot hear. Small, faraway things people cannot normally see, are visible to me. These senses are the fruits of a lifetime of longing, longing to be rescued, longing to be completed.

“Stoker” is the not so typical coming-of-age story of India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska), a girl who has just lost her father in a mysterious car accident. The story begins when India’s uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) moves in with her and her unstable mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). At first, the three of them seem like an ordinary family, but with uncle Charlie’s arrival, India slowly starts to unfold into adulthood and into darkness.

The film revolves around India growing up and learning about who she really is. Director Chan-wook Park fixes on his main character through very intense close-up shots of India, of her face, of the ruffling of her skirt, of the leather of her belt – of the details that make India the complex character that she is. This has an almost oppressive effect, because you really focus on India and not so much on the dialogue or on the other characters.

“Mia (Wasikowska) has two very interesting characteristics,” tells director Park about “Stoker”’s leading lady toRedCarpetNews Extra. “She has the liveliness of a young woman her age, but also a calm, composed and internally matured personality.” This fitted the character of India perfectly, whose calmness is rather unsettling. “Mia portrays a girl who is neither a mature woman nor a child, a girl who is yet rebellious and introverted. I would say, Mia was the most suitable actress for this part.” Wasikowska enjoyed playing a character like India, she tells StylistMagazine. “I have never played anyone before who is… dangerous. It’s much more fun to play someone like India, someone who’s angry, then it is to play sweeter characters.”

Part of what is so brilliant about Wasikowska’s haunting performance in “Stoker” is that you do not expect her to portray a girl like India. Before she worked with director Park, Wasikowska starred in, for example, Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Gus van Sant’s “Restless.” In both films, the actress plays the part of sweet and innocent girls – the complete opposite of India’s character in “Stoker.” The audience knew Wasikowska as the sweet and innocent girls she usually portrays, but with “Stoker,” the actress can truly show off what an amazing talent she has.

Read the entire article on: http://www.thefocuspull.com/features/fresh-look-stoker-2013/

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