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Art Of Seduction: Stoker (2013)

Updated on April 15, 2015
3 stars for Stoker

Meet Uncle Charlie

Boredom: the desire for desires. This famous quote by Leo Tolstoy reveals itself in the humdrum existence of a comely teenager, trapped in dreamless small town. Little does she know, however, that a surprise visit from her uncle Charlie will set off a chain of events, irrevocably altering her path.

India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) was not prepared to lose her father and best friend Richard (Dermot Mulroney) in a tragic accident. The boredom and emptiness she feels in her picturesque, woodsy family estate are suddenly upended by the arrival of her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode).

When Uncle Charlie moves in with her and her emotionally distant mother Evie (Nicole Kidman), she comes to suspect that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and a particular interest in her. Initially repulsed, she finds herself becoming increasingly infatuated with him.

When Ice Meets Fire

India is a virginal symbol. Like Rapunzel in her tower, she is locked away from the world and the savages that roam the earth. She is also sexually repressed and castrated by a sterilizing mother. Evie openly admits to never even combing her daughter's hair.

Most importantly, there are several obstacles blocking Evie's escape from her high tower. The primary blocker is her oppressive mother. Like Dame Gothel, she represents an evil witch whose sole purpose is to deny her daughter any pleasure. Instead of locking her teenager in a tower, she lives in a reclusive home in the middle of the woods, tucked away from the wicked hands of the world.

But when Evie's brother arrives for a family visit, those wicked hands yearn to reach out and touch her daughter. India finds herself magnetically drawn to him. She experiences an awakening like she has never felt before. Remember that a catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction. And in the case of a small fire, a stoker is someone who adds coal to excite it -- wake it up. India's dormant sexuality is stoked by the arrival of her wolfish Uncle Charlie.

The Wolf And The Lamb

Uncle Charlie is the worst kind of predator - he preys on the weak. He waits till his niece is watching from her high tower and does some strenuous yard work in the hot sun, sweating out his white tee and khakis. He doesn't look at his niece. He gazes at her like a wolf on the prowl. When he speaks, he speaks with purpose and in a low, sexy voice.

He asks his niece to let her hair down so he can come up to her bedroom. Looking up at her, he tells her that there is a greater power she can harness, a greater vision for her dull life. Uncle Charlie is the path from the high tower of boredom and the dark of dense forest of ignorance.

A Woman's Independence

When Uncle Charlie, the catalyst, arrives latent urges begin to bubble on the surface. India is at first reluctant to accept these "ungodly" desires. The object of her desire is her uncle! Whenever he corners her, she wriggles free. When he tries to manipulate her mind and reveal a brighter path, she doesn't take the bait and fights for her independence.

India's central conflict is being torn between the humdrum life she is leading and the "prince" below, holding the key to a new world. She struggles on whether or not to let her golden hair down. She also struggles with the meaning of her own independence. Is she free? Is there freedom in prison?

Though her mother is emotionally and physically distant, she still remains queen of the castle. Her domineering spirit and mind control is in the art, design, aroma, and atmosphere of the home. And if she lets her hair down and lets the prince up, will she be able to retain her independence? Is what lies beneath the woods worth surrendering her "freedom" to her uncle?

Stoker, Movie Trailer

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© 2013 Oswalda Purcell


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    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      You write really great reviews! I am impressed! I haven't seen this movie, but I heard it was good, and different. I would like to see it.

    • Oswalda Purcell profile image

      Oswalda Purcell 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you, Monis. Shoot me a line if you see it :)

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      I've never even heard of this movie but, thanks to your amazing review, I'm interested in watching it!

    • Oswalda Purcell profile image

      Oswalda Purcell 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you! It's dark and delicious :)

    • amandajoyshapiro profile image

      amandajoyshapiro 4 years ago

      You couldn't have used better adjectives in this review. Your descriptions of the characters must be on target.

    • Oswalda Purcell profile image

      Oswalda Purcell 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you, amandajoyshapiro! I can't wait to read your review on A Royal Affair!

    • profile image

      Nsb 3 years ago

      Who is homosexual? Also does the uncle haw sex with her?

    • Oswalda Purcell profile image

      Oswalda Purcell 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      No one is explicitly homosexual -- it is suggested. The answer to the question I cannot spoil :)

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