Babydoll

In celebration of Women Who Wow Wednesday, this is my tribute to Babydoll, lead protagonist in the film Sucker Punch. If you haven’t seen the movie, please do. You won’t regret it.

Sucker Punch's Babydoll
Sucker Punch’s Babydoll

To protect her little sister from the evil clutches of her lustful stepfather, 16-year-old Babydoll takes it upon herself to exact justice by the end of the barrel of a gun. When she fires a round, the bullet ricochets and accidentally kills her sister. Surviving the attack, her stepfather commits Babydoll to Lennox House, an insane asylum where she faces a lobotomy. A lobotomy her stepfather secures with a substantial bribe given to the institutions’s head orderly. Babydoll escapes into her fantasies where they become her reality.

From there we see Babydoll involved in such feats as dragon slaying, Samurai sword fighting, and taking on an entire zombie army with the help of her friends Sweat Pea, Rocket, Blondie and Amber. Together, these girls kick butt to the extreme of awesomeness.

Now, before I go on, I’d like to address an issue. Critics in unison panned Sucker Punch for its numerous scenes of scantly clad women, calling the film exploitative. I happen to disagree. Unlike Black Swan, which critics adored, there is no nudity in this film. On the contrary, this film depicts women as having strength, fortitude and resilience. Since the majority of the film takes place in a brothel, what else should women wear under that employ other than lingerie? Have we forgotten what Nicole Kidman as Satine wore in Moulin Rouge, which fetched her an Oscar nomination?

Anyway, onward…

Babydoll, Amber & Blondie in Sucker Punch
Babydoll, Amber & Blondie in Sucker Punch

Played by Emily Browning, star of Lemony Snicket‘s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Ghost Ship, Babydoll yields a traditional Japanese katana sword and a polished nickel-plated Colt M1911A1. To escape her enemy’s attacks, she dodges, performing aerial maneuvers to where she can best execute her counterattacks.

Reminiscent of Inception’s dream within a dream, the best action sequences come from Sucker Punch’s fantasies within a fantasy. Babydoll uses these fantasies to cope with the inevitable reality of her impending lobotomy. Wow, now that was a mouthful. Try to say that three times fast.

However selfish it may seem that Babydoll would rather escape within herself; throughout her fantasies, her fights are noble, just and right. She thinks of her friends first just as she had done when trying to save her little sister from her evil stepfather. Babydoll proves this countless times by deflecting an enemy’s attention from her friends, taking on the burden of their suffering. And as strong as Babydoll appears in her fantasies, the quiet resolve she maintains in reality makes her even stronger. It’s the only way she can face her lobotomy. For it’s with her sacrifice she saves her friends.

Babydoll—a True Hero
Babydoll—a True Hero

Where can we find this kind of devotion in real life? That’s a rhetorical question.

To me, if one were to give their life for a friend, that is the truest form of love anyone could ever possess.

Have you seen Sucker Punch? What did you think of it? Was it as confusing as some critics have made it out to be?

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17 thoughts on “Babydoll

  1. I think the film was trying to be a lil bit clever. However, I did enjoy it as a film. I agree that Emily Browning was excellent as Baby Doll. The gal def has a future if she picks the correct roles.

  2. Loved this movie. What attracted me to it were the awesome visuals and graphics, but the story was just as captivating. I loved all the actresses too because they were all so powerful and vulnerable at the same time.

  3. Thanks for the post, Jack. It’s good to see that there are people out there that enjoyed the film as much as I did.
    Here is what really frustrates me the most about the attacks Sucker Punch: They generally presume to speak for everyone’s interpretations. Which–for a film so ripe with metaphor–is ridiculous. In fact, Snyder’s usage of a protagonist named Baby Doll makes me wonder if an implication of transposing self-identity on top of abstract features (such as those found on many dolls) was intentional. The idea could further the interpretations by then turning the audience into the character.

  4. i’m in full agreement. i was really buying into what the critics said about this movie so it took me awhile to rent this. but it was on the tele on one of those “freebee” weekends for HBO, Showtime, etc. so i watched it.
    i was completely amazed. It wasn’t exploitive at all. It was imaginative and the SFX were mindblowing. it’s too bad this movie got a bad rap as a “hooters rated” movie, because it was nothing of the sort.
    strong women figures, great story, i could go on and on. i was impressed with this one.

  5. I thought it was a great movie. An interesting plot, definitely a few twists and turns. I, too have always been a little baffled by the fact that critics seemed to dislike it so much. For myself the real appeal of the girls didnt come from their scantly clad or school girl outfits as much as the fact that they really did kick arse.
    What can I say, I grew up with the likes of Ripley killing aliens all over the cosmos in my formative years..

  6. I’ve always felt that I shouldn’t like Sucker Punch quite as much as I do… you’re right though-it’s the jarring contrast between the grim reality and the stunning fantasy fight scenes that really make this film something special.

  7. Sucker Punch was a great movie with a great soundtrack. I do get annoyed that women in movies rarely seem to kick ass in sweats and sneakers, which allow for more flexibility and movement than leather pants and stilettos, but I didn’t have a problem with Sucker Punch. The girls’ outfits were related to the story, they were sexy without being too revealing, no nudity, and the girls didn’t ultimately need the help of a male hero to rescue them either, which I think is the most important part of the movie. As stylized as everything else in the movie was, being based on a comic, their costumes were perfectly fine. If critics didn’t hate Black Swan for it’s nudity and subject matter, didn’t find Jacob’s Ladder too confusing, and thought Titanic was Oscar-worthy, then I don’t get why they had so many problems with Sucker Punch.

  8. Hi, I liked Sucker Punch. I didn’t think it was confusing. It was heightened/dream reality. It was both uplifting and sad I thought. Interesting allusions to the theory of mind control too, so it had a kind of subversive side too I thought. Anyway, very entertaining.

  9. First of all, I’m a woman and I simply loved the character Babydoll. My question to the critics is why can’t we be sexy and kick ass at the same time. On of the reasons I love Angelina Jolie is because she is sexy but she can whoop some tale. I so love this article right now especially the comparisons you make with other films that show scantily clad woman. You don’t find ride or die chicks like Babydoll in real life. One thing friends say about me is that I’m very loyal. I liked that trait in Babydoll. Thanks for the amazing article. I will have to reblog this. Hope that is OK.

  10. “Sucker Punch” was no more confusing than “Jacob’s Ladder”, “Pan’s Labyrinth” or “The Fountain”. To be perfectly honest, “Sucker Punch” could probably have spent a little less on the flash and a little more on fleshing out the plot, but the same could be said for “The Fountain”. Overall in my opinion, it wasn’t as bad as many critics have made it out to be.

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