Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston deliver sensational performances as a married vampire couple who despite their close connection, lead two separate lives in two separate countries. Adam (Hiddleston) is a depressed, reclusive musician living in a deserted street in Detroit with a wide reputation for the music he writes (almost too wide for him to bear) while his loving wife Eve, lives in the exotic streets of Tangier conversing with the aforementioned Christopher Marlow – played by the charismatic John Hurt. Of course, like any good narrative, an event occurs which bring these two supernatural star struck lovers back together. Initially, one of them has the sulks and it falls to the other to cheer them up. We witness a passionate and loving reunion throughout this film, but typically this is interrupted by Swinton’s out-of-control little sister – played by Mia Wasikowska – who wants to stay with them for a few days, and like all courteous guests, her method of saying thank you is destroying a priceless Gibson guitar and drinking the blood of Adam’s human companion, Ian – played by Anton Yelchin. How can one possibly react to such a scene? Well, Adam had the answer; “You drank Ian.”
Here, the dilemma begins to unfold as in this modern universe, vampires no longer conform to the rule of biting people. This is due to an unknown contaminate of blood, spread throughout the modern world. Throughout the film, vampires are almost represented as very unusual drug addicts, dependent on suppliers from hospitals and blood banks to send them sufficient quantities of blood to keep them sustained. Now, Adam and Eve must leave the country due to their associations with the deceased Ian but worse comes as their blood supply is lost, leaving them to face the risk of starvation or of drinking the blood of random strangers.
What is most enchanting about the whole film, is how human and likeable the main characters are. Tilda Swinton gives a performance that makes her so loveable and captivating that you never want her to leave the room. Hiddleston’s performance remains the opposite as he approaches his character with a pessimistic sarcasm which makes him entertaining when the mood takes him.
If there was a draw-back to this film, it would be the overbearing need to associate these beautiful vampires with every historical character known to man. While logically this would make sense due to how long they have been wandering the earth, this also becomes a very annoying habit which can become tiresome. However, with the addition of a great soundtrack, cinematography and superb casting, this minor setback can be forgiven quite easily.
If you are looking for a film with real modern vampires here is some sound advice; throw away that Twilight collection, put away the Underworld series and sit back and prepare yourself for that long sought-after vampire story that we have been waiting to make its return to the big screen.
Only Lovers Left Alive is available to buy now.
Review: Only Lovers Left Alive
By Charlotte Castle - 29th October 2014
If you are a fan of Let The Right One In fan then you should consider watching Only Lovers Left Alive. There is no denying the unfortunate string of bad vampire films in the last decade. Each one has been lacking in certain qualities that made vampire films so riveting. In this film’s case, it seems at last the independent film industry has pulled together to produce an absolute treasure.
While Only Lovers Left Alive provides a beautiful sense of the supernatural without forcing the issue, these are not the conventional images we often associate with the classical vampire that we are all so fond of. Say goodbye to the loneliness and a constant desire for human companionship, there are no more coffins and no more cemeteries.
Here, vampires are able to live exactly like a normal human being with one exception – that they emerge during the night and carry with them many centuries of experience. This could get a little overbearing for some viewers, especially once you hear one vampire recount seeing Eddie Cochran, while another is in conversation with Christopher Marlow. If there is any guarantee that can be given to a young audience watching this film, it is that they will receive one history lesson they won’t soon forget.