The "Womb" in Stoker

Revisiting the atmospheric yet horrible movie Stoker last night, I kept my somewhat bored mind busy reading the symbolism in the film. If you're not familiar with the story, the movie is worth seeing once, maybe twice, though if the tepid reviews aren't enough for you to watch it while folding laundry on a Sunday, by all means read the Wiki: I write the following mini-analysis with some clues as to what happens but no spoilers in case you change your mind. Tread lightly.

India starts out fairly docile, childlike and free in the beginning of the film, expecting time with her dad on  her birthday, and all is well. But given how many things she ends up having in common with her mysterious Uncle Charlie, it stands to reason that her annual gift of the same pair of shoes from him also shows a gestation of her madness, and that now with Charlie's arrival she can be born into her seemingly predetermined nature. 

As we know from his previous work, director Park Chan Wook is not to be messed with when it comes to visuals, and he does an absolutely stunning job in visually demonstrating the character development and subtexts of each scene. Of the myriad pause-button worthy shots in the film, I especially loved this one, which captures the mourning India still childlike yet unborn in a womb of shoes. From the funeral and beyond I think India is born into her madness, so I see this shot as the part where she is done with her proverbial gestation. Note the position of her head, and the design on the headboard that, to me, is a symbol for a vagina.

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