Saturday, March 01, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive Review

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Directed By: Jim Jarmusch
Written By: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt
Running Time:123 Minutes
Release date: 21st February (UK) and 11th April (US)

Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) are vampire lovers living on opposite sides of the world and have been married for centuries. After Adam gets fed up with the world, Eve rushes to his side in Detroit to be with him where they have to deal with her reckless sister, his music career and the increasing contamination of blood.

Only Lovers Left Alive is a slow-paced, but engaging story of two lovers that somehow live apart but are still inseparable. Although not much happens in Jarmusch’s depiction of arguably one of the greatest onscreen loves, there is enough going on to keep the audience compelled. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston create a one of a kind onscreen chemistry. Their relationship is the perfect combination, reminiscent of a Lestat and Louis brotherhood, an Adam and Eve (in the biblical sense) epicness, and Romeo and Juliet devotion. Despite Adam’s hatred for the world and zombies (how he refers to humans), and the fact he’s so tired of the destructiveness of humans that he is contemplating suicide, there is a strong focus on the survival of vampires and their dependence on pure blood which has become a rarity.

 Swinton has been consistently flawless in her performances throughout her career and is so again in Only Lovers Left Alive. She plays Eve with equal amounts of excitement and mysteriousness and carries both the relationship between Adam and Eve and between herself and Hiddleston. Despite looking too old for Hiddleston to be in an equal age relationship with him, their chemistry overshadows any doubt of compatibility. Performances of the incredible couple are supported by great acting and characters from John Hurt, Mia Wasikowska and Anton Yelchin.

Jarmusch goes down a dizzying and almost intoxicating path of direction. The cinematography is tremendously gorgeous and is accompanied by a spine chilling score, with the parallel shots of Adam and Eve in the first thirty minutes making their initial scene together electrifying and one of the film’s strongest. The greatest beauty of the film is in the simple combination of literary references and music. The latter is a reflection of Adam’s talent which he is adamant of not sharing with the world, but somehow gets put there and intoxicates the masses and the audience alike.

The comedy is filled with fairly cheap jokes and anecdotal references, with famous artists like Baron, Shakespeare and Shelley. Literature, poetry, science and music has clearly inspired Jarmusch in writing the film and plays a great part in it. Only Lovers Left Alive is intense, compelling and, as contradictory as it may sound, it is a realistic depiction of modern vampires with a new core couple to be remembered.

This review was originally published by The Hollywood News.

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