5 Reasons to Watch This Vampire Film

August 09, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) by Jim Jarmausch is a British-German romantic vampire film. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) are a beautiful pale-faced, dark, and mysterious vampire couple, who have hidden their blood-sucking secret from the world. But hold your eye-ball rolling against these creatures of the night, because this film is not your typical vampire movie. Jarmausch has added his own flavor and injected new life into the living-dead (or more like dead) vampire film scene.

Here are 5 reasons to watch this film, even if you've had enough of vampire movies. 

1. You'd discover the answer to life (and other meaningful words of wisdom)
While the plot might seem bland and uneventful when translated from screen to words, one would soon discover that the good stuff lies beyond the storyline. Life's existential meaning, commentaries on the depletion of natural resources, and humans living as "zombies" are a few of the topics raised in the film, and are enough to intrigue one's mind. 

Of all the wise words and brain candy interspersed throughout the script, the most meaningful of all must be Eve's explanation of the point in life to Adam, her suicidal vampire lover. 

And there you have it, the meaning of life straight from an aged vampire who has lived long enough to know better.

2. Outstanding acting and performance 
Undoubtedly, Hiddleston and Switon are beautiful together, almost like prized relics that has lost their shine, but certainly not any of their artistry. Switon moves and speaks with an ethereal nature, and Hiddleston carries a dark and moody charm of a sex-god. Together, it's hard to take your eyes off as they grace the screen with an air of unspeakable mystery. 

But enough about their perfection that's beyond human, Hiddleston and Switon displayed exceptional performances on screen. It's hard to imagine Hiddleston as a cheerful and active person after seeing his gloom and melancholy in the film. The rest of the cast also kept up with high standards of acting. 

Furthermore, Jarmausch deserves commendation for a well-written script. His take on the modern vampires is tastefully executed - blood is sipped from wine glasses and eaten from Popsicles ("blood on a stick"), and the vampires themselves also seem pretty down-to-earth. They lack the usual air of pompousness, which is definitely refreshing. Jarmausch captures the vintage mood with overhead 360 degrees spinning angles and captivating shots of Detroit and Tangier. 

3. Stellar soundtrack 
The film's soundtrack is amazing, and expectedly so from the talented Jozef van Wissem. His music scores injects a deep and trippy vibe to match the rich and velvet colours of the film, keeping one hypnotized. Having ridden the tunes of spinning vinyl records, Adam's melancholic music composition, and 'live' performances, your ears would have felt like they have went on an adventure. 

4. They are not your typical self-obsessed vampires 
Having had the luxury of time, Jarmausch's vampires are well-read and cultured, spare Eve's bratish sister. Eve is passionate about books, and Adam about music. They quote great literary works like Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Original from Hamlet: Why, let the stricken [wounded] deer go weep, The hart [deer] ungalled [not wounded] play; For some must watch, while some must sleep: So runs the world away. [Such is the way of the world.]

Also, love and romance isn't sickeningly sweet in this film. Unlike Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, whose lives revolve around each other and sparkling under the sun, Adam and Eve share a more realistic and believable kind of love. They are not entirely absorbed in each other to ridiculous proportions, and are able to live separately like modern couples, while still being in love. (Adam resides in Detroit; Eve in Tangier).

Even the sappy love scenes are tastefully shot, where Jarmausch chose to simply show Adam and Eve lying silently beside each other in bed, their ivory skin a stark contrast to the black sheets. Their love is not blatantly displayed, but implied through Einstein's Theory of a Entanglement. 

Adam: When you separate an entwined particle and you move both parts away from the other, even at opposite ends of the universe, if you alter or affect one, the other will be identically altered or affected. Spooky.
Eve: Even at opposite ends on the universe?
Adam: Yeah.

5. The emotions it stirs
This film electrifies your soul with emotions. Visually stimulating with a spellbinding soundtrack, this is the film equivalent of drugs. In the sensuous and late-night setting, Adam and Eve remind you of the good times between lovers, the simple and honest moments that often go unnoticed, the quiet between kisses, the synchronized rhythm of their breathing, the comfort that comes with familiarity. And for the dreamers, their casual banter and commentaries would remind them that they are not alone in this ineffably confusing universe.

Eve: Did you know there's a diamond out there the size of a planet? It's the white dwarf. It's the compressed heart of a star. And it's not only a radiant diamond, but it also emits the music of a gigantic gong.
Adam: A diamond? That emits the music of a gigantic gong. Where is it?
Eve: It's just, a few light years away. In the constellation Centaurus
Adam: Mm. I wonder what it sounds like.

Only Lovers Left Alive has renewed my faith in vampire films and is definitely worth watching. The want to be a vampire has been reignited in me. How great it'd be to be a creature of the night, enjoying the perks of being eternally young while accumulating the wisdom that comes with age. Apart from murderous tendencies, vampires might be less frightening than the blind-folly of humans.

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