It is safe to say that recently we have entered a world where vampires are creatures that are meant to be adored and obsessed over, and personally I feel that this should not be the case. The vampire is not something that teen girls can swoon over and want to become. Everlasting life is not something to be sniffed it, it can become quite tedious after a while.
This is certainly something that Jim Jarmusch has touched upon along with a whole host of other ideas in his latest film, Only Lovers Left Alive.
The films star Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as vampiric lovers, Adam and Eve (don’t be too hasty to jump on the religious bandwagon though, because Jarmusch did not intent to have that connection with the characters when he first set out to make the film. The two are named after characters in a Mark Twain novel) who whilst being married carry on their separate lives in Boston and Tangia.
The communicate with one another in much the same way that any long distant couple would, via the use of Facetime on an iPhone and a slightly more archaic version including a laptop, a television and hell of a lot wires. This just goes to show how different the two members of this relationship are.
It carries on further as we are shown more of the characters of Adam and Eve. Eve embraces her life in Tangia and enjoys all the joys that the city has to offer, whilst Adam hides himself away in his cavernous house and is content with making his music; just as long as no one knows who he is or where he lives, apart from his friend Ian who acquires things for him.
Only Lovers Left Alive really is breath of fresh air when it comes to contemporary vampire movies. This is is movie that people have been waiting for without even knowing it. It is wickedly smart, devilishly funny and manages to have a huge heart in it as well.
Not only do Hiddleston and Swinton bring life to these roles they have excellent supporting cast from John Hurt who plays William Marlowe (YES! That Marlowe), you also have Mia Wasikowski as the impulsive, childish ‘sister’ of Eve.
At times the film seems almost too clever for its own good, managing to bring traditional vampiric folklore into a very comtemporary setting and story, and the back drop of Boston couldn’t be better. A once prospering city that is not just managing to grasp onto its own civilisation is the perfect allegory for the character of Adam. He was once such a powerful thing and now he is contemplating suicide and has locked himself away from the rest of the world.
This film manages to cover so many different topics and themes it is a shame to just place it under the title of a vampire movie, even though the word is never mentioned once throughout the movie. It is a film about romance, family, death, music, science and nature, the human condition. It is so simple in its complexity that I hope you will be as blown away by it as I was.
Only Lovers Left Alive is set to be released on Blu-Ray, DVD and limited edition steelbook (through Zavvi) on September 15th and I cannot highly recommend enough going and picking up a copy. Even if you are not a fan of supposed vampire movies, you will be pleasantly suprised from this offering by Jarmusch