Only Lovers Left Alive

When Vampire Films take a different level.


Directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as vampires, this film is a definite winner. What more could anyone ask for? Jaramusch is known for his beautifully minimalistic movies. And this one does not disappoint.

The film revolves around two ancient vampires, Adam and Eve. The cleverly-named characters are played by Hiddleston and Swinton. The chemistry between the actors was as they played the quirky, mysterious couple was incredible. The big screen hasn’t seen a couple this sexy in years!

The film’s events mostly revolve around Adam and Eve’s relationship. This is not uncommon for Jarmusch. His films tend to focus on character development more than relying on fast-paced, exciting events. Adam is a disturbed, hyper-emotional vampire musician. His work has affected the careers of music legends throughout time.  He hates the spotlight, hates the human race and pretty much anything else except for his lover, Eve.  Eve, on the other hand is quite different. She’s less distraught by the world and tries to enjoy it. Her appreciation of the little things – including technology – baffles Adam, who is a nostalgic hoarder.

The dynamic of couple’s relationship is endearing. Eve respects Adam’s genius, but knows he needs to be treated like a child sometimes. Outspoken and strong-willed, she does not shy away from doing so. And although they know they are extremely different from one another. Adam and Eve share a passion that survived through centuries. Watching the film, you can’t help but believe it. This is mostly due to the amazing performance given by Swinton and Hiddleston, as well as the brilliantly-written script.

Only Lovers Left Alive first appears to be dark and moody. The grungy soundtrack, dark lighting and extreme camera angles suggest that from the beginning. However, as it progresses, it becomes a lighthearted, endearing film with plenty of funny moments. After Eve returns from Morocco to the US to reunite with Adam, she starts dealing with his antics. His forlorn state doesn’t surprise her, but she is concerned when she finds a wooden bullet in his possession. After subduing his death wish, she is met with yet another problem. Eve’s trouble-making sister “drops in” and decides to stay. After murdering Adam’s friend, she is kicked out.

The lovers decide that they must flee. Their only choice is Morocco. There, they can acquire clean blood from their friend’s – Christopher Marlow’s – supplier. However, once there, they discover that the supplier is gone and that Christopher is dying. Christopher – played by the amazing John Hurt – alludes to the fact that he is the man behind Shakespeare’s work before he dies. The lovers stumble out into the night, knowing they, too, are dying. Then they see a young couple kissing. Knowing they must feed if they want to survive, they decide to feed on them, “we’re going to turn them, right?” Eve asks. “I’ll get the girl, though”, Adam says before they approach the couple, ready to pounce.

The film was screened in Zawya, with Yousri Nasrallah and Yasmine Hamdan – who makes an appearance in the film – attending the first screening.

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