Monday, June 20, 2011
I saw Sucker Punch with a group of people who do not know anything formally about individuation and Jungian analytical methods. They were completely at a loss as to what this movie was about... even as an adventure movie, the narrative is discordant and hard to follow. I counted three different parallel storylines embedded into one girl's journey to personal freedom through Enlightenment.
By all appearances the movie seems to be about "Baby Doll" but I think that "Baby Doll" is the young girl aspect/ naive feminine side of "Sweet Pea"'s character. My clue to this is at the point where "Baby Doll" is brought to the asylum and "Sweet Pea" is on stage dressed similarly to how "Baby Doll" is portrayed through the whole movie and "Sweet Pea" objects to the lobotomy as part of the show... And so it is the stage show that is the greater Jungian storyline for the whole movie that becomes cinematic in the rest of the movie through the more obvious "escape" narrative, and then drops into the subplot action sequences that represent the individual "struggles" that "Baby Doll" faces to overcome the physical limitations and the appearence of the obstacles of her growth.
The old man appears plainly as the guide for the girls, Baby Doll the not yet matured feminine aspect, Sweet Pea the individual essence... In the liner notes for the soundtrack Zack Snyder thanks Richard Bach for his influence on his life, even at times when he doesn't notice it at first. This is yet another hint to the self-awareness that this movie attempts to realize. There is alot of discussion in reviews that Suckerpunch is misogynist and shallow, but these reviews fail to see that each character is a representation of a side rather than a fully realized individual and when the whole cast of characters can be seen as one person, the complexity of the film leaps into another category beyond what we are used to films delivering. I look forward to observing this film's influence on pop culture and it's legacy as an artwork.