An offbeat haunting story that would have been silly in the wrong hands, Only Lovers Left Alive is a exceptionally acted film that balances style with substance.
Tom Hiddleston stars as Adam, a bloodsucker who makes a living as a reclusive musician. He reunites with the love of his life, Eve (Tilda Swinton) a fellow vampire who leaves her home overseas to be with him in the downtrodden Motor City. They eventually get a visit from Eve’s irresponsible sister (Mia Wasikowska) who irritates Adam and eventually causes trouble with the one human – the vampires refer to the living as zombies — with whom the depressed music hero gets along. – Perry Seibert, Rovi
The film mainly focuses on the modern life of a couple who has lived through centuries. Eve makes the most out of her immortal life and continue to survive. On the other hand, Adam broods over the lack of artistic fervor in today’s society after outlasting artistic revolutions, blaming the zombies whom he thinks are afraid of their own imaginations.
The film’s set design, photography and soundtrack of fuzzy guitars give it a haunting look and feel. It’s deadpan humor, literate script and traces of bygone sophistication make it amusing. With timely editing, the film manages to hold your curiosity even if nothing much happens.
The biggest pull here are the performances by the leads, while the rest of the cast make their small roles count. Swinton and Hiddleston are well matched and turns the film into an endearing love story. Mia Wasikowska shakes things up a bit as the reckless Eva. John Hurt injects some charm. Anton Yelchin does well as the eager handy man.
The film’s minimalistic storytelling may not be for everyone, especially for those with expectations. In close inspection, its just a series of snapshots from the life of an immortal couple.
But for those who appreciate its visual style and simplicity, Only Lovers Left Alive is a bittersweet, nostalgic love story with a dark sense of humor and captivating characters. In the end, its world weary couple still go on and survive, even if they have lost the motivation do so.
My Rating: 8/10