Jim Jarmusch takes on cinema’s oldest monsters in his modern tale of two vampires who want nothing more than to be together for eternity. Only Lovers Left Alive may be a little too bland for your average moviegoer, but it offers a unique and off-centered look into the romance of a couple of lovers who have been together for centuries. The film is simple enough as it’s centered on two vampires who’s love has been stretched for hundreds of years. Tom Hiddleston stars as Adam, a bloodsucker who makes a living as a reclusive musician who reunites with the love of his life, Eve (Tilda Swinton), a fellow vampire who leaves her home overseas to be with him.
It’s hard to believe, but the vampire genre is better than ever right now and Only Lovers Left Alive is proof that there are still plenty of different ways to tell an interesting and engaging story centered on horror’s oldest of monsters. When we think about vampires, our minds tend to gravitate towards their tendencies to be violent and murderous, so when a film like this one comes along it can be a tough pill to swallow because Jarmusch’s tale is just not about those things. Instead, the focus of the film is, quite simply, a deep look into a very small portion of the lives of a couple of vampire lovers. And honestly, not a whole hell of a lot happens which is where this film will be an instant turn off for a lot of viewers, even fans of the vampire genre. That being said, the film was never meant to be about thrills, so if you can get over that hurdle there’s actually a lot in Only Lovers Left Alive to enjoy.
Tom Hiddleston is everything you thought he would be as a vampire. Quiet, reclusive and the perfect old school kind of vampire. He’s a lover at heart and hates the human race, who he calls zombies—because we are all assholes! I’d actually love to see Hiddleston take on another role as a vampire because he completely nailed it here. My idea of the perfect old school vampire is one that can appear both charming and absolutely terrifying at the same time, and Hiddleston is that to a T. And I think that’s why Jarmusch was able to get away with telling a vampire tale that is void of nearly any violence or horror. But you can’t have a narrative about love without a lover and that’s where Tilda Swinton’s Eve comes in who is the perfect balance to Hiddleston’s Adam. When the two come together for the first time on screen you can see the chemistry instantly, and it really carries the rest of the film.
There’s really not a whole lot more I can say about Only Lovers Left Alive. It’s a stylish little film with a kickass soundtrack that is fueled by two great performances in Hiddleston and Swinton who make for one hell of a convincing pair of vampires. It’s truly an offbeat vampire story that is both new and old. It’s a fascinating look at what goes on inside the lives of those who have experienced life for so very long. The genre needed a vampire film like this with its outside of the box way of thinking and interesting take on horror’s oldest monster.