When I first saw the trailer for “Sucker Punch” I knew I had to watch it one day. Pretty girls kicking some ass without their makeup falling out of place.
But it wasn’t just about that…
Babydoll (Emily Browning) is a troubled young girl, who is institutionalised by her step-father, an abusive thug who enjoys beating and (suggested) raping his two step-daughters. At the beginning of the film, we are thrown in the deep end with a brutal scene ending in the death of Babydolls sister, whom we never learn the name of. This has an adverse effect of Babydoll, and we are shown her mercy when she has a gun pointed at his head but turns to run. Unfortunately, she is caught by the police outside, and pleading innocent – Babydolls step-father convinces officers that she had a fit and ‘accidentally’ killed her sister, though we know this isn’t the case.
This is where the film takes a different turn, and we are suddenly no longer in a tragic drama, we are in a sci-fi, action, fantasy film which all takes place in Babydolls head.
To make it easier to explain the goings on in Babydolls head, I will first explain the characters in each fantasy.
REAL WORLD – the world in which Babydoll lives
After being accused of killing her sister by her stepfather, he sends her to Lennox House (for the mentally insane). Her she meets:
BLUE JONES (Oscar Isaac) – Blue runs Lennox, and after being bribed by the step-father, he forges a signature and schedules Baby in for a lobotomy.
DR. VERA GORSKI (Carla Gugino) – The psychiatrist at Lennox. She speaks to Baby, and has no intent to order a lobotomy for her.
MENTAL PATIENTS – We aren’t formally introduced to the other girls at Lennox, as this is not important at the time. They aren’t meant to have personalities or input during this reality.
Babydoll learns of the plan to have her lobotomised, so she takes note of items that will help her escape, and plots a plan to break out of Lennox and be free, but seconds before her lobotomy, we are transported into her imagination.
BROTHEL - fantasy world number one
This is the world that Babydoll uses to explain what has happened to her prior to the lobotomy, and also uses as an escape from the brutality of the real world.
BLUE – Blue is imagined as a mobster, the owner of the Lennox, but it is now a brothel, and Babydoll is its newest member. He tells her that her virginty is going to be taken by the ‘Head Roller’ (who is actually the doctor performing the lobotomy in the real world, and her virginity is a symbolism for her life).
DR. VERA GORSKI – in this fantasy world, the doctor is imagined as the dance instructor, who teaches the girls to dance as a survival tool.
“If you do not dance you have no purpose. And we don’t keep things here that have no purpose. You see, your fight for survival starts right now. You don’t want to be judged? You won’t be. You don’t think you’re strong enough? You are. You’re afraid. Don’t be. You have all the weapons you need. Now fight.”
THE MENTAL PATIENTS -
SWEETPEA – the leader at the beginning before Babydoll arrived. She’s only here to protect her sister, Rocket, and now she knows there’s no escape. But she can’t help but gain a little hope from Babydolls escape plan, even if she is reluctant at the beginning.
ROCKET – Sweetpeas sister. A big dreamer, who wants to escape more then anything. Babydoll saves her from being raped by the cook, which forms a bond between the two girls.
BLONDIE – the pretty face of the group.
AMBER – client of the mayor, she’s clever but doubts herself.
ADVENTURE WORLD – the world that Babydoll enters when she dances
All five girls are there, but as action heroes. The tasks that they face are similar to the ones they must complete in the brothel.
WISE MAN – he is in all of Babydolls adventure fantasies and also shows up in the real world as a bus driver. He is the ‘charlie’ and the girls are his ‘angles’.