Mia Wasikowska, best remembered as Alice in Tim Burton’s screen rendition of the Lewis Carroll fairy tale “Alice in Wonderland,” takes a back seat on innocent and wholesome roles in favor of something darker and bolder. She, along with Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode, fronts the English-language film debut of the Korean master of genre cinema Chan-wook Park, the man behind the renowned “The Vengeance Trilogy,” which includes the acclaimed pieces “Oldboy,” “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance,” and “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.” For this highly anticipated Hollywood project entitled “Stoker,” the naturally blonde Wasikowska features a brunette look that easily contrasts her very pale face.
The Dark Hair and the Pale Face
With her dark and lanky hair that always completely covers her ears, Mia Wasikowska looks disturbing in a strangely subtle but bold way. As seen in the movie’s promotional materials, her pallid complexion further makes her appearance odd and creepy. The film’s hand-drawn teaser poster works like a gothic work of art complete with skulls, casket, crows, piano, spider, butterfly, and entangled vines. Its impressively atmospheric promotional video supplements the said poster’s style and elements. These are also very apparent in the film’s follow-up poster dominated by the close-up shot of Wasikowska face.
The Piercingly Innocent Eyes
Keeping up with the shock-and-gore factor Park’s opuses are known for, Wasikowska’s overall look in the film seems like she is always staring into someone’s soul. There seems to be a mysteriously dark twist on her piercingly innocent eyes. Her pale lips and skin, along with her brushed and darkened eyebrows and lashes, add to the moody feel of her face — as if palpable dread would soon become imminent in her undertakings. The tagline in the poster justifies the very idea of how innocence can end for a girl who’s coming of age.
A Story of Innocence and Violence
This amalgam of a family drama, psychological thriller, and horror-suspense film is carefully packaged as an eerie fairy tale in the vein of classic Hitchcock. The story revolves around the mystery behind the life of a seemingly innocent teenager whose father mysteriously dies in a tragic accident. As she starts living with her psychotic mother and a so-called uncle whom she never met before, she becomes more emotionally unstable. Filled with intensely unsettling images of dark secrets and quiet obsessions, Park’s evocative shot compositions rightfully lead to her character’s apparent descent into madness.