Movie Review: Only Lovers Left Alive [2013]

Thanks to number of dumb vampire movies, we all imagine them to be long living, careless sons of bitches who just enjoy sucking human blood. Or they are so cool that many of us desperately want to be one of them and live forever.
Well, Jim Jarmusch did his best to prove contrary and show boringness and madness of eternality. Only Lovers Left Alive is a desperate and heartbreaking saga about two vampires Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) who've been in love for centuries (yes, it's the Adam and the Eve). It's the time when vampires refused to kill people and instead get blood supply from hospitals or "blood dealers".
I found Jarmusch's vampires very human, sensitive, alone - something you can't find in any of similar ones. This is maybe because Jim wanted to point to how silly & killing immortality is. Both characters feel very real: Adam loves music, he composes them and plays, he's fond of rock and roll - the only thing making dreadful life happy. Eve finds salvation in dancing, she's quite different from Tom's character, because regardless all this senseless eternal life, she still tries to find courage and sense the beauty of surroundings.

Adam and Eve are in love, truly in love, but they sometimes separate for years, because years don't count when you are vampires and every time they do this, they desperately miss each other. That's why Eve flights to Detroit to meet him. And their relationship looks like biblical one very much and humans are their apples. Because they are not supposed to kill people (or zombies, as they recall).

Their quiet romance is distracted by Eve's half-blood sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska). She's very different from her sibling - does not mind killing humans, has fun and is cool about immortality. Being younger, Ava is a lot selfish - a kid version of centuries old vampire. She's irritating and irresponsible, that's why Adam expels her from his house, just like God expelled the real Adam & Eve from heaven (!).

And they stay alone once again, bringing whole sadness back to their lives and couple starts to realize how hopeless their life is.

I liked both lead performances a lot. Tom Hiddleston who I find to be brilliant in Thor, delivers truly remarkable performance, with those quiet, desperate and true emotions. His every speech, every word and gesture just screams of suicide, brings confusion of emotions and question "is this [being a vampire] really that bad?".

There is no role, or character Tilda can be bad in it, especially if the character has to be emotionally stable person, with very cold, fierce look. Despite the fact that her mimics do not change from frame to frame, she's extremely expressive, her eyes tell whole story, even more that her words or cries or raves.

I, who is not a big fan of Jarmusch, enjoyed the story itself. It was something very bold and original, I did not expect to see, something that really reached to very bottom of my heart. I think, Jim successfully managed to capture suicidal complexity of loneness and that even two people can be lonely together.

This very creepy story is perfectly accompanied by even creepier and very beautiful score by Jozef Van Wissem & SQÜRL. It makes scenes more dark, mind-blowing and sensitive. I still get chills listening this tunes.

However, I still am not sure whether I'd enjoy eternal life or not. After watching Only Lovers Left Alive I kind of doubt that, but I believe that I a person tried hard enough, he or she can easily make life a lot enjoyable, regardless how long it may seem.
So, what do you think of Only Lovers Left Alive?!


  1. I liked Hiddleston's work but I found his character to be very underwritten - all the little contradictions in his personality didn't help making him believable. Swinton was fantastic, though, as was the music.

  2. I, on the contrary, found Tom's character very interesting. He was very weird. I liked it.
    I keep listening to that creepy score and it gives me chills every single time.