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Journey of a Hero

Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey applied to Sucker Punch

Connie Wei

on 21 January 2013

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Transcript of Journey of a Hero

Sucker Punch (2011) A Hero's Journey DEPARTURE AND
SITUATIONAL ARCHETYPES Call to Adventure Sucker Punch is a psychological drama action-heist film and follows the fantasies of a young woman, who is committed to a mental institution, as she makes a plan to escape the hospital before being subjected to a lobotomy. Crossing of the First Threshold Babydoll retreats into a fantasy world in which she is a new arrival in a brothel owned by Blue (a corrupt asylum orderly), whom she envisions as a mobster. She befriends four other dancers (patients) – Amber, Blondie, Rocket, and Rocket's sister, Sweet Pea. Dr. Gorsi, the asylum psychiatrist, becomes the girls' dance instructor. Refusal The mother of the heroine, nicknamed "Babydoll," passes away.
everything is going to change: First notice that Growing up/Loss of Innocence Babydoll fights her stepfather and attempts to protect him from harming her younger sister. Our brave heroine has to grow up when her stepfather frames Babydoll for murdering her younger sister and forces her into an asylum to silence her. INITIATION Belly of the Whale Within Babydoll's fantasy world (the brothel), Gorski encourages Babydoll to perform an erotic dance, during which Babydoll further imagines she is in feudal Japan, meeting the Wise Man. Separation from the Heroine's known world and self: Road
Trials The Wise Man presents Babydoll with weapons and tells her that she would need to collect five items: a map, fire, a knife, a key, and a fifth, unrevealed item that would require "a deep sacrifice". She then fights three samurai giants. As her fantasy ends, she finds herself back in the brothel, her dance impressing Blue and other onlookers. Babydoll convinces her friends to aid her with her escape. She plans to use her dances as a distraction while the other girls obtain the necessary tools. During her dances, she imagines adventures, which parallel the escape efforts. These adventures include infiltrating a bunker protected by steampunk World War I German soldiers to gain a map (mirrored by Sweet Pea copying a map of the brothel/institution from Blue's office) along with storming a heavily-guarded castle to cut two fire-producing crystals from the throat of a baby dragon (mirrored by Amber stealing a lighter from the mayor's pocket). Finally, in the last fantasy, Babydoll, Rocket, ans Sweet Pea board a train and combat mechanized guards to disarm a bomb (mirrored by Rocket and Babydoll stealing a kitchen knife from the cook's belt). However, Rocket sacrifices herself to save Sweet Pea and dies when the bomb detonates, which is paralleled by the cook fatally stabbing Rocket while she tries to protect her sister. Atonement with the Father In Babydoll's fantasy world, she sacrifices herself and distracts a throng of men outside the brothel in order for Sweet Pea to escape; meanwhile, in the real world, the surgeon has lobotomized Babydoll. Apotheosis Defiance: When Blue attempts to sexually assault the lobotomized Babydoll, he is infuriated that she in unresponsive. Freedom to Live: RETURN In the End, Gorski realizes Blue forged her signature on the lobotomy order. As the police drag him away, he shouts that the stepfather wanted it done. The lobotomized Babydoll closes her eyes, and the scene fades to the police questioning Sweet Pea about an escapee from the asylum. The Wise Man (now a bus driver) from Babydoll's fantasies misleads them, allowing Sweet Pea to board the bus.
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