Sucker Punch Review
25 Mar 2011
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
First film directed by Zack Snyder that is not an adaptation. However, the movie features motifs from Lewis Carroll’s novel “Alice in Wonderland”.
‘The Art of War’ Banners in the movie
The two banners beside Scott Glenn’s character as shown in the trailer are a famous couplet from ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu: “Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.” This was later made into a famous battle standard by the Japanese warlord Takeda Shingen.
Is the movie layered in a “Dream Within a Dream” sort of fashion?
Yes. This is a coping mechanism to deal with the pain from the Asylum, the sexual abuse and her killing of her sister aided by the nasty, strong drugs she would have been given. There is most definitely an inception-like, fantasy-within-a-fantasy element weaved into the film. Baby Doll appears to cope with her nightmarish situation first by imagining the asylum as a brothel (the man in charge of the asylum becomes the pimp of the brothel, Mrs Gorski’s emotional support as theatrics, etc.), and her dancing (usually interpreted as either a coping mechanism for the sexual abuse by asylum staff OR the psychodrama therapy while the asylum staff ogle) as a gateway to being sent on extremely dangerous military missions which are in reality fantastic versions of tricking the loony-bin staff. Knowing which scene belongs to which fantasy is key to better understanding what is going on in this movie. Although chances are, the movie’s intended to be widely interpreted.
Did anyone die in the ‘real’ world?
According to Zack Snyder, no. Rocket, Amber and Blondie may have been killed off in the Brothel Fantasy, but nobody died in reality. It’s left completely open what did happen to them. Babydoll says to Sweet Pea that she is the only one who could have survived outside, meaning that she was actually sane and didn’t belong in the asylum. However the others were not sane, so Babydoll had them killed off to explain why they couldn’t escape the brothel. Notably when discussing Babydoll’s situation with the lobotomy surgeon, Dr Gorski does not mention anything about patients being killed. Likewise the cook is still seen working in the kitchen, which he most certainly wouldn’t be if he had actually killed Rocket. This implies that the girls are all alive and well, and have a chance at getting better once Blue is removed from the hospital
Shutter Island or sucker punch
I just watched Shutter Island for the first time earlier today and all I could think was that it’s the same movie as Sucker Punch. Well, same premise pretty-much, just a different approach and targeted to a different audience.
It has similarities, but as much as i love both Sucker Punch is way better, it’s inspiring and empowering something Shutter Island isn’t.
Yeah… Not even close. Just because movies have similar plot devices/themes doesn’t make them “the same movie”.
The plot is entirely different, the characters are entirely different, the only thing in common is multiple levels of “reality”. You might as well say that Sucker Punch is the “same movie” as Jacob’s Ladder…
Not seen Shutter Island, not sure I want to to be honest. But I was thinking One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest meets Brazil as two potential influences on this film.
What is the meaning of the scene between Babydoll and the High Roller?
In the extended cut, there is an additional scene in between Babydoll helping Sweet Pea escape and her lobotomy. The High Roller is revealed to be a nice and caring man who is offering her freedom. He does not want to have her by force, but merely wants to know her. Babydoll chooses to give herself to him, and the scene then cuts to the lobotomy. This scene has multiple meanings: first of all, Babydoll has spent the entire movie being sexually abused and objectified by the people around her. So this moment is with someone who does not see her as a sex toy, but as a person. She had previously only thought of her sexuality as something disgusting used to pleasure Blue and his croneys, or a weapon to use against Blue. This scene shows her embracing her sexuality as something beautiful and wonderful – and as a form of love. Next, the scene represents that Babydoll is actually getting better through Dr Gorski’s therapies in the real world. For example, Babydoll has been abused and objectified by the men around her. But this scene here shows that she is still able to move past her traumas. In spite of the abuse she suffered in the past, she’s still able to have such a beautiful and passionate moment. Thirdly, the scene shows that a girl’s sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of – and Babydoll takes control of her own sexuality her way, without men dictating it for her. Finally, going back to Gorski’s therapies, it’s implied that she allowed herself to be lobotomised as penance. As she accidentally killed her sister, the lobotomy is her way of making sure she pays for her crime. But through Gorski’s therapies, she comes to realise that the sister’s death was not her fault and she can again move past her traumas. The fact that she writes herself a happy ending – falling in love with a kind man who wants to give her the best life possible – shows that she has forgiven herself for her crime. Essentially the scene is a bit hint that Babydoll *will* get better and possibly live a better life.
RT/Meta Critic Review
but it confirms my sense that Snyder belongs near the top of a very short list of directors who are trying to reinvent a personal, auteurist vision of cinema at the most commercial, mass-market, attention-disordered end of the spectrum.(MetaCritic)