Another Kino night another good film. Before watching it id heard people talking about it in the studio, a scary vampire film people were saying, so i expected it to be something quite tacky and poorly made. But I was happily surprised.
The film, made from the 2004 novel by swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist is centered mainly around the relationship between Oskar a 12 year old boy and a vampire Eli who is also 12, but has been for the last 200 years! Based in the suburbs of stockholm during the 1980's the film focuses on the "darker side of humanity", bullying,theft,murder, pedophilia and supernatural events.
I found this film to have some really lovely moments, like when Eli and Oskar are on the playpen and he has the rubix cube, leaves it with her and he finds it the next morning all complete covered in snow. There is something quite silent but significant about this, almost hinting that both Oskar and Eli will get together. This is also the first scene we see him smile, maybe also significant that he was unhappy before he met her? I also thought the first scene with Oskar and his father was beautiful. You can immediately tell that he misses him, especially when he puts on his fathers jumper and walks away smelling it, in a nostalgic way. But I then felt different about this when I saw he had a drink problem and would rather spend time with his friend rather than his son. We also wonder if Oskar is happy at all, being bullied, mothers never home, and his dads an alcoholic. I also found there was something quite nice about the fact Oskar had wrote down morse code for Eli, so that they could communicate when in the flat.
I think that some of the best moments of the film were successfully done by the pauses and quiet moments. For example when Oskar goes round to Eli's flat towards the end and she shuts him out in the hall, they both stand staring at one another through a glass door before Oskar finally asks the question "are you a vampire?"
I really enjoyed watching how relationships developed and also how existing relationships changed. Although Oskar and Eli seem very different they have more in common than we realize, Eli kills to live and we are shown that Oskar has a morbid interest in crime and death, and keeps a scrapbook full of paper cuttings of murders.
Although I enjoyed the film I felt some bits were a little too in your face and not like the subtle feel to the film, one of the end scenes when Eli saves Oskar from being drowned by the bully's brother and we saw legs flying, people being flown across the pool, it just seemed unreal. I really liked the film but felt that after last weeks film the diving bell and butterfly, its going to be tough to find a film that is as moving and to me so influential in the future.