Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Movie Mania Wednesday

I FINALLY made it to the theater to see Sucker Punch yesterday.  It's definitely one of those love it or hate it movies because of the radical departure from conventional movie storytelling.  I normally don't talk too much about a movie lest I ruin it for other people, so consider this FAIR WARNING!


Zack Snyder, the co-writer and director, tells you in the title itself that this movie won't have the traditional HEA.  That doesn't mean he won't have you wishing and cheering for it during the course of the film.

Also, ignore the reviews.  Most of them look at only the surface of the film, and trust me, it's much deeper than it appears.  So deep I want to see it again because I'm sure I missed something.

 The inital layer of the story, which I'll call "Reality" for simplicity's sake involves Baby Doll (Emily Browning).  Baby's mother dies leaving her fortune to her two daughters, but also leaves them at the mercy of their stepfather.  After the funeral, Stepdad learns the terms of the will and tries to rape Baby in revenge.  When she fights back, he locks her in her bedroom and goes after Baby's much younger sister.  By the end of the opening sequence, the little sister is dead, and Stepdad has Baby committed to an asylum where he bribes an orderly to make sure Baby is lobotimized.

This fades into "Fantasy 1," which is Baby's way of dealing with the trauma.  In Fantasy 1, Baby is a virgin sold by a priest to a brothel.  She befriends Rocket after she stops the cook from assaulting the other girl.  Baby then makes friends with Rocket's older sister Sweet Pea and their fiends, Blondie and Amber.  The five girls devise a plan to escape from the brothel, but the plans hinge on Baby keeping the club owner Blue distracted with her dancing.

Baby's dance sequences lead to "Fantasy 2," where she and her friends are commandos carrying out missions to retrieve the items they will need to escape in Fantasy 1, which also mirrors the events in Reality.

At the ends, Baby Doll surrenders to her fate in order to allow Sweet Pea, the last survivor of the band, to escape the asylum.  Ironically, without Baby Doll's defiance to prop his ego, Blue the orderly devolves into a weeping mess and is arrested for abusing the girls under his care.

A lot of reviewers mock the anime/computer game style of the movie, but that style adds another layer to the story itself. It is essential a movie about the lengths we will go to escape our realities and ourselves in order to survive.

I highly recommend it.

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