So… the film Sucker Punch, written and directed by Zack Snyder, seems to be getting quite a bit of negative feedback.  The general consensus amongst these opinions range from, “There is no story.” or that,“It was confusing and didn’t make sense” to people up in arms about its depiction of women, sex, and violence. When I hear these things all I can say is, “Did they just watch the same movie I did?”

So if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want any spoilers, read no further. So let us start from the beginning… or is it?

The movie starts out with Sweet Pea narrating the opening sequence where we are introduced to Baby Doll. If you listened to what she is saying she tells you exactly what is going on.

“Everyone has an angel, a guardian who watches over us. We can’t know what form they’ll take.  One day old man, next day… little girl. But don’t let appearances fool you; they can be as fierce as any dragon.  Yet they’re not here to fight our battles,but to whisper from our heart. Reminding that it’s us… it is everyone one of us who holds the power over the worlds that we create. “

We then see a quick succession of scenes, MTV style, that shows the birth of Baby Doll set to the aptly chosen “Sweet Dreams”. (When watching the movie again, listen to the words of the songs. They are telling you more about the scenes you’re watching than the scenes themselves.) When Baby Doll is finally completed or transformed, Sweet Pea ends the intro with these words.

“We can deny our angels exist.  Convince ourselves they can’t be real… but they show up anyway.  At strange places…  and at strange times. They can speak through any character we can imagine. They’ll shout through demons if they have to. Daring us… challenging us to fight. “

If you have to, reread that again and think about what she is saying. With this in mind it is time for our first revelation. It isn’t in your face or hand feed to you. The picture is painted in broad strokes and it is up to you to discover the meaning. And that is… Baby Doll is Sweet Pea, a creation born from the horror that is her life. A champion who is able to do the things she is can not.

SweetPea has suffered real trauma at the hands of a family member, much the same way we see Baby Doll experience, and in light of what I have just said, displays classic symptoms of someone suffering from Dissociative Disorder. Someone with dissociative disorder escapes reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy. Symptoms range from amnesia to alternate identities (Rocket,Blonde, Amber, etc.) and develop as a reaction to trauma.

I believe much of what we are seeing as Baby Doll enters the asylum are memories of Sweet Peas. Memories of her own arrival as we witness in the theater when the men are planning Baby Dolls (Sweet Peas) demise. She is watching Baby Doll as her eyes are filled with knowing tears as she relives the event. She is too far away to know what is happening to Baby Doll or to hear what she hears, but she seems to all the same. As an extra treat, the stage set of the bedroom SweetPea is sitting in is a close match to the very same one we first saw Baby Doll in earlier. That is not coincidence.

As sheis about to be lobotomized we take a hard left, fully into a world that has been created by Sweet Pea.  All the girls are sexy and for a reason. It wasn’t the director’s intent to have hot girls for the sake of hot girls. Well maybe a little. But if you paid attention up to this point you will see there’s a heavy male presence and not a favorable presence. All the men are evil and it is how men view women. I mean just look at the world around us and tell me I’m lying. Today women are no less objectified than they were 50 or 100 years ago.

Some people seem to have a real problem when Baby Doll dances and we are transported to the fantasy realm. To me it is perfect. This is where Sweet Pea has to go to fight her demons and conquer them if she has any hope of escaping or changing her path. After all, she is the only one who did.

And Sweet Peas final narration, as she drives off into the sunset, is direct commentary on the world and society that WE have chosen to live in and what we should do about it:

“Who honors those we love for the very life we live? Who sends monsters to kill us…and at the same time sings that we will never die? Who teaches us what is real…and how to laugh at lies? Who decides why we live and what we’ll die to defend?Who chains us? And who holds the key that can set us free? It’s you. You have all the weapons you need. Now Fight!”

I think I have given enough for you to chew on. What I have written here only scratches the surface of everything that Sucker Punch represents. There are deeper levels we could go to but those are for you to discover. And if you don’t believe anything I have just said, revisit Baby Dolls last words before she sets SweetPea free. She tells Sweet Pea, “This was never my story, it was yours.”


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