Mia is so absorbing without uttering any words that the screamers were bound to mourn alone in the corner.
The director Chan-wook Park’s family drama looks like Hamlet-esque but behaves oddly nothing like it. So all the thinking gets out of the window. And I mean thinking as in the morally questioning situation that the characters find themselves in. For instance, Hamlet stays true to the gruesome practicality by never giving you what you want. Which is, the character doesn’t get what they want. And they want evidence. Desperately. Both the sides of the parties. Which then leads them into assumptions, theories, thought provoking plans and misery at the end of the unexpected result and the shocking citations. So you get emotional response at both the times, the celebration of the uncertainty and the insanity of the fact.
Stoker on the other hand doesn’t give its character or us the room to ever express what’s going on. That is not what it feeds on. It feeds on what is right in front of it. You have the crime, the murderer and not even a suspect, and the dead cold body. What it then does is take actions. Romanticizes the idea of the relationships driving this film, but not towards what’s in front of it. The history is to be accounted to move forward.
And here we find these characters in loop. On that note it is depressing to see the hauntingly beautiful gothic display ruined to bits. Stoker asks a lot from the performance and the cast delivers. That is the only aspect of the film that delivers. Not even those remarkable scenarios like sharing a tune or cutting each other through a glance. The performance is responsible for this slow seduction. So I suppose it remains to be a personal touch. What you fall for and what not. No guilts. No regrets. No reaction. Just action.