Thursday, August 21, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)


Yes. People are going to say things like a wondrous gothic romance. Beautiful and poetic. Darkly humorous. Blah, blah, hell, a few are even going to drop the ever so titillating "Original" as in: This is a wholly original take on the vampire tale. 

And you know what, hell, they're right. Here's the problem: THIS FILM IS JUST PLAIN BORING.

The plot. Two vampires mop, and gloom, through an entire film. Talking about music, art, and occasionally sipping blood from a shot glass. That's it. The whole thing.

Now I want to state up front I am not exactly sure what went wrong here. I mean the performances are actually very good. Tom "Loki" Hiddleston as the dark brooding type (think TV's ANGEL with a stronger inclination towards music) is charismatic and fun. But, obviously by design, he restrains himself into this almost comedic vibe that from time to time seems frustrating. Tilda Swinton is great as the white haired lover... who is living around the world... for some reason... and stuff.

Shots, shots, shots, shots... every-BODY!

Even the supporting cast is great - John Hurt, Mia Wasikowska. I mean some serious talent in here. The script even has a few really entertaining lines, and some thoughtful presentation of the importance of music... but it goes nowhere. I mean it starts nowhere, goes nowhere. Ends kinda cool, but what's ten seconds in two hours of Blah?

I know not everyone will be with me here. Like I said, words like "Romantic", "Beautiful", "Original", are being thrown around this flick like rice at a 22 year old bride. But really, what is so beautiful? The fact that the titled "LOVERS" seem as bored of each other as they do the world? That's not pretty, or romantic. That nothing happens for two hours. That's not "Original".

Oh and really I need to call out the directing here. Jim Jarmusch has done some amazing work over the years; Way of the Samurai, Dead Man, Broken Flowers. Here however, his bland camerawork gives what should be beautifully filmed panning scenes the look of primetime TV. Not the whole movie, but there are major points where it stuck out. The female walking down the streets of Tangier with a moment of slow motion. If you are going to make her beautiful, gothic, and slow it down. Give us her features. The strains of white hair floating in the breeze... don't just leave a camera in the hall and watch her waddle towards it... ahhhhhhh. So frustrating.

This look. For two hours. That's your movie. 
As I mentioned the script has some fun, and the bleak dark comedy bits do occasionally hit home, but it is just so without purpose that I really didn't care... and I really wanted to. This is one of those situation where a film should come with a "CAUTION CRITICS LIKE ME" warning.

I get the director's indie style. But this, with the performances, and some of the music, really need a high concept approach to the camerawork... as it is... it is simply average. And sadly, amazing performances aside... so to goes the film.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Romantic Horror scale 3 out of 5 stars

I only recommend this film for the performances... and a few great tunes. That's it. Nothing else of note.

A huge letdown for me after the festival hype this baby was getting...

Sad Panda.

Tell Next Booniacs.


-Chuck B.

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