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Film Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

Film Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

Suitable for 15+!


As you’ve probably already gathered, I am a big Tom Hiddleston fan. So, you can imagine my delight when I saw that Only Lovers Left Alive was available to watch for free on a plane. I mean, you’re on a plane, so what else can you do? You can’t exactly go out for a walk. So, although I’m not really a fan of vampire films, what the hell. Let’s give it a go. Can’t be as bad as Twilight, right?


The film opens with a confusing and weird shot of the main characters, spinning like a record. Maybe it was the air pressure, but I didn’t like it. Too hard on the eyes! The record is symbolic – it reflects Adam’s (the character played by Tom Hiddleston) job as a music writer. Adam and wife Eve live on separate continents, for some unknown reason, and they live on a supply of illegally obtained blood from hospitals. Probably one of the highlights of the film was seeing Hiddleston skulking around the hospital with a ponytail, in surgeon’s robes – it was unintentionally amusing. This blood causes a really weird and slightly cringe-worthy reaction from them, as they become temporarily high from it.


Wife Eve (played by Tilda Swinton) seems to hang around Tangiers, sitting in cafes, talking with another vampire - a bloke called Christopher Marlowe. This is the man who really wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays, apparently. The trouble with the film is that it’s very highbrow, and it doesn’t seem to try to appeal to the masses. If you don’t know who many of these old philosophers and writers are, then shame on you, suggests this film.


Adam is a very mopey chap. He describes humans as “zombies”, not the most flattering word to use. He mourns for how the world has turned into something unappreciative of beauty, and not how he likes it. He thinks humanity is depraved, but he overlooks some of the good things about humans. He even has a human friend, but thinks himself above him. Eve seems to look after both him and her wild sister, and has to do more or less everything. Poor girl!


The film’s plot is very slow indeed. If you like films with fast-paced action and not slow, artsy soliloquies, then this film definitely isn’t for you. It’s a long film, and you’re often left wondering “so when is the real action going to start?” the answer is, don’t waste your time. It doesn’t really start. You have to watch the entire film, and it only mildly kicks off towards the end. Don’t bother waiting – it’s not worth it. One redeeming feature is the beautiful scenery of Tangiers, the vibrant North African city, and how it compares with desolate Detroit, America’s most economically deprived city.


It’s just personal preference, but if you feel like watching this film, give something else a go. Even if you’re on a plane and are thus a captive audience, watch the clouds fly by instead. It’s dark? Still more interesting than this monotonous film.


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