Only Lovers Left Alive is by no means your typical vampire film. Though this film is set in the modern day, it definitely is not like any of the young adult vampire films of recent times. It revisits this myth without all the action and gore, which is very refreshing.
As a fan of the more artistically styled horror film genres, I loved every minute of what I saw. This film is full of thought-provoking symbolism, themes and metaphors. While it is slow-paced, the story does not drag on at all.
Because of the creativity of indie director Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive presents a fresh, sophisticated, strange and yet artistically beautiful story of an almost human-like romance with an absolutely mesmerizing soundtrack to go along with it.
The film has a quiet and gothic feeling that matches the personalities of Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) perfectly. Their names obviously are biblical, but the film does not touch on that at all.
The story focuses on this couple’s love that has lasted through centuries. They both have managed to live under the radar and stay away from most modern technology, even though Eve does have an iPhone.
Because Only Lovers Left Alive is set entirely at night, it makes for a relaxing and dim vibe in the mostly empty streets of Detroit and Tangier (one of the beautiful major cities of Morocco).
Though the dialogue is minimal, every word said has meaning. There is a bit of an almost dark comedy throughout the film mixed with a good number of cultural, philosophical, literary and musical references.
The acting is what really makes this story stand out.
Tom Hiddleston plays the role of the suicidal and tortured romantic, Adam. He is a retired rock star who is secretly “releasing” music from his hidden, run-down home.
He always is dressed in black and has an empty and depressingly dark view of the human race. We get to see more of his actual personality when he is reunited with Eve.
It is then revealed that while still dark, he actually is quite witty.
Tilda Swinton’s Eve is the perfect yang to Adam’s yin – not only because she always dresses in all white, but because she brings a lovable and adventurous quality to the already moody film.
She reminds me of one of the romantic characters out of an Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles novel. She is a literature-loving, free spirit who always is trying to get Adam to see the bright side of his existence.
Eve’s unpredictable and wild younger sister, Ava (Mia Wasikowska), and the wise author Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt) make for a good contrast in the story as well.
All the actors bring just enough human-like elements to their roles to make what they are feeling and experiencing more relatable.
Only Lovers Left Alive is a unique addition to the vampire genre and leaves you wanting to know more about Adam and Eve’s immortal lives.
It is available at Redbox on DVD and Blu-ray.