Sunday, May 11, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive

Director: Jim Jarmusch
With: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright

Just when I thought I'm done with the vampire genre after the traumatic movie experience that is 'The Twilight Saga', here come Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston starring in one, with Mia Wasikowska as an unexpected bonus. I do not HATE the whole Twilight Saga, by the way. The first one is actually my guilty pleasure but the rest are just cringe worthy and kind of annoying with the love triangle and Bella being blatantly a bitch. Ick. Enough.

Only Lovers Left Alive is a different take on the vampire genre without changing too much on the traits of the vampire characters. They have similar attributes from other vampire movies but executed in an offbeat and likable manner. 

Thirst for blood, Check. Uber white complexion, Check. Not the bluish kind of white though. Nocturnal beings, yup. Enhanced speed, yup. They are ancient and they also bite necks. All of these accomplished in Jarmusch's idiosyncratic style. They drink blood from a tequila glass for cryinoutloud and sometimes they put them in a freezer and turn them into blood ice popsicles. Most creative vampires ever.

Each character is different and very distinct, but all are eccentric. They refer to plants through their scientific names, for one. If Phoebe Buffay is a vampire, I could see her being like Eve (Tilda Swinton), very positive, scrappy and loving. Eve's lover Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is the serious type who's into music and refers to humans as 'zombies'. The two balance each other out and in every display of their affection, you can just tell that they're better in every single way. Way better than the intense Edward Cullen and lifeless Bella Swan. Even their slow dance is better, dancing awkwardly yet romantic to Denise LaSalle's Trapped by a Thing Called Love. Move over Flightless Bird, American Mouth. Seriously, I'm living for Tilda Swinton's dance in this film.

Just the background of their characters alone make this vampire movie interesting and amusing. On top of that, they're joined by Ava (Mia Wasikowska), Eve's sister with a larger than life personality that didn't mesh well with Adam. I would compare her to Caroline of Girls who coincidentally is also hated by a character named Adam.

I can't think of anyone playing the roles of Adam and Eve as perfect as what Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston did to them. Vampiresque physical appearance aside, they compliment each other with their commitment to the personalities of their characters. Hiddleston and Swinton play their characters without questioning the absurdity of the concept as not only vampires, but vampire lovers. Wasikowska's portion in the film is nothing short of fun and energy as she disturbed the peace of the lovers. The film would still work even if her scene was cut but her presence proved to be a fun addition to Adam and Eve's intimacy and she's truly entertaining in all of her scenes.

With all of the abovementioned, Jim Jarmusch's innovative and filled with subtle sense of humor screenplay shined most. Casting of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as leads is perfect and the direction is as vivid and artsy as a 90's music video and I mean that in a good way. Grungy sets, costumes, make up and all.

Also, gotta love this wacky couple selfie: