15 April 2011

Suckerpunch

Suckerpunch is a dark and surreal story about a mental patient and her escape from a sordid institution. The scenes are confused and the mental institute turns into a sort of sex trafficking scheme, without being this explicit. Since it is from the point of view of the girl, the viewer assumes that she really must be crazy. She dreams up her own world inside a world, where she and her friends battle with enemies to find certain artifacts to escape.

The film is odd as it combines sexuality with brutality. As in every man's dream, the girls are scantily clad in leather and school girl-like clothes for the fight scenes. They shoot guns and kill monsters, Nazis, Samurai's, you name it. They scenes were reminiscent of the matrix and 300 in the way that the fight scenes were slowed down to show clearly each punch or clever move. The girls could take hits almost super humanly, and they had skills they could never dream of doing in reality.

As I said before, this film is dark. There is a clear threat to the girls by men, which also implies that this is a film about much more than an accidental murderer. At the beginning, it seems that her step-father is in some way hurtful towards both of the sisters; he locks Babydoll (the main character, whose real name we do not know) in her room and advances towards her little sister in a menacing manner, prompting her to try to shoot him. The man in charge of the institution seems to enjoy making the girls do his bidding. He is cruel, and arranges a deal with Babydoll's stepfather to give her a lobotomy, something that will subdue her entirely. Every enemy that the girls face is either a creature or male.

Some of the scenes, though only suggestive in some places, are very shocking. It has sexual references, knifes, arson, death, destruction and fighting. You may find that this isn't at all your type of thing, and yet this film makes the divide between reality and fantasy so blurred that you are never sure whether these things happen or not. I would like to believe that they didn't, and yet the end of the film suggests otherwise.

The acting in the movie was good. There was a great deal of emotion in everything that happened, leading me to very nearly tear up. Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) and Jamie Chung (Grown Ups) could have done more with their roles, but it was a toss up between Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, as Prince John) and the doll-like Emily Browning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) as to who won the prize for best acting. I dare say it actually goes to Oscar Isaac, who was totally convincing as the terrifying owner of the institute.

Quite strangely, the film delves into many different genres; fantasy, with dragons and orc-like creatures, war, action, you name it. But the real drama is by far the ones that most stick in your mind. The treatment of these girls clings to you long after you see it. I came out of the cinema with a feeling of defiance, and a message; 'you have all the weapons you need. Now fight.'

This film is probably everything a man could ever want, and yet it cleverly conceals a very female friendly message. It tells women that they have all the weapons they need to get out of situations they don't want to be in. It gives those who are being hurt and are afraid hope and determination. And yet it doesn't fully agree to this. The end is mixed. It ends on a happy note, and yet it doesn't, but you'll have to watch it to know what I mean.

All in all, I would like to point out that this is a very good film. It certainly gave me a lot to think about and to talk about to you all. Based on this and the other points I have made, this film deserves an 8 out of 10, the 2 marks only being taken off of it because of its confused nature.