Monday, March 2, 2009

my little vampiric crush (Review of "Let The Right One In")

few films leave a lasting impression on me. i love film and movies.. and by an impression, i mean i start to remember quotes, watch it multiple times and study a scene's lighting, mis-en-scene the film's post production quirks rather carefully that might boarder on maniacal.

Låt den rätte komma in (Let The Right One In dir. Alfredson, T, 2008) was one such film.

Overall the film was just what my heart needed, about a somewhat morbid, yet pure and fatalistic love between a 12 year old boy, Oskar, and a 12 year old looking girl, Eli, who's actually a 200 year old vampire.

innocent proposals by Oskar asking Eli to be his girlfriend, unknowing of the painful baggage carried by a being such as Eli. Eli, a creature fraught with a secret so terrifying that it's a miracle that she allows herself to actually love him too, despite the consequences of such selfishness.

in the end, what really stood out for me, is how vulnerable the two lead characters are. in a gripping scene where Oskar mocks Eli's vampiric limitations as a means of coping with the betrayal of not being told her dark heritage earlier, Eli demonstrates her own determination to make them work out, and quite literally exposes herself in such a vulnerable and imperfect manner, following their reconciliation.. only a master film maker like Alfredson could evoke this much emotion in the span of a three minute scene.



little nuances like playing on the vampire lore that these creatures are unable to enter a person's home uninvited, Alfredson uses such common knowledge to poetic effect by demonstrating the precarious glass wall that separates the two young lovers, only to tear it down and leave you gasping at the frail beauty that ultimately weaves this entire piece of filmic art together.

in a brief image of Eli, bleeding from her eyes and ears, a creature so powerful yet surrendered to the idea of loving a mortal boy, it was a moment when i fell in love with a character so fatally wounded by previous hurt and injustice and yet strong enough to try again. to me, this is what the film is ultimately about, not happily ever afters, not about having the right recipe for love to work. this film takes the worst of the human heart and what it's capable of, puts a frame around it and let's you find beauty in the brushstrokes.

Oskar and Eli are just two young lovers trying to figure it out for themselves. as their relationship grows through the film, you grow with them, laugh with them, cry with them.. and feel afraid with them. i cannot think of anything bad to say about this film. the gorgeous swedish winters, a soundtrack that is another piece of art by itself.. it's so profoundly beautiful that you get beautiful fan-made trailers like this:


3:16 - 3:22 was the moment i fell in love with Lina Leandersson, the eleven year old actress who played Eli.

five outta five.

16 comments:

lhp said...

Thank you for your support and review of the film. Glad you liked it :-)

Lighthouse Pictures.

Ian Timothy said...

I seriously think I need to stop reading your blog. I'm going out to get this movie. Money and time gone again.

'this film takes the worst of the human heart and what it's capable of, puts a frame around it and let's you find beauty in the brushstrokes.'

you got to try this line with the ladies... very well done.

brian koh said...

@lhp thanks for dropping by! it was a great show! bring more good stuff into singapore!

@ian timothy hahaha, thanks for the kind words, i hope it was worth your while! spread the love!

lhp said...

http://theasc.com/magazine_dynamic/December2008/LettheRightOneIn/page1.php

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