One of the best films of 2014 was a sexy romance about two weary and aloof vampires; further proof that a great story can be made out of anything resembling Twilight. Then again, not even Bram Stoker could predict a sexier vampire couple than ones played by Tom Hiddelston and Tilda Swinton. Directed by Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive is a post-modern vampire movie that plays around with clichés, yet realizes a purely sensual and melancholic experience that makes vampires such great creatures.
The film has a fairly simple story. Adam and Eve are two ancient happily married vampires, yet while Eve is in Tangiers, she learns that Adam has become very depressed in his house in Detroit. So she flies to Detroit to help Adam to get out of his funk. However, much of what makes Only Lovers Left Alive so great is how the film patiently moves through the world the created by the characters. As their cheeky biblical names imply, Adam and Eve are very ancient, so old that they have developed hobbies in music and literature and have secretly influenced the culture of the world. This is their mixed blessing because the world is feels decades behind them. The setting of Only Lovers Left Alive is a one that is dark yet rich and it makes audience savor it all.
It is a fairly comical in that this film’s interpretation of vampires is essentially nocturnal hipsters; as cold as they are though, these are characters that are charming and far from dull. This is in part due to the lead performances of Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton whose chemistry oozes with lust. There is an intimacy to these characters that is sensual, but also dependable. Even when they are separated by thousands of miles they can still rely on each other as partners. Their love creates a sort of synergy that is subtle yet is unmistakably there, like the best couples on and off the screen. Plus their conversations—ranging from past lives, the fall of Detroit, and blood popsicles—are so funny and endearing one may forget they can kill people in an instant just to survive.
On the whole Only Lovers Left Alive proves to be more than just an art-house alternative to the Twilight thanks to a brilliant cast and a wonderfully dense story. This is a cool and sexy film that is more willing stretch into the funny and strange territory of nocturnal life. Even if vampires are no longer scary, this film proves that they still know how to party or chill out. It is both a legit date movie and fresh diversion for those grimy dark days of October.
(Only Lovers Left Alive is available on DVD/Blu-ray)