These vampires may not bite, but, entertain none-the-less.

Only Lovers Left Alive could be classed as a meandering love story about a centuries-old married couple, who live thousands of miles apart, and just happen to be vampires, than could be classed as a standard vampire tale. The vampiric angle is played extremely low-key, and we see Adam (Tom Hiddleston, Loki from Thor) and Eve (Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin), purchase their blood from hospitals, then indulge in occasional small glasses of O-negative, and get high. They refer to this type of blood as “the good stuff,” and as well as being highly-prized, it’s also extremely expensive.

The narrative is definitely lacking in certain areas and when you consider Only Lovers Left Alive is a movie about vampires, we expect more than we end up with, in respect to bloodsucker behaviour, but what saves this film more than a little are the brilliant performances by our main two, Adam and Eve, Anton Yelchin’s Ian, and the short but destructive appearance from Eve’s sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska).

Only Lovers Left Alive
Written & Directed by
Jim Jarmusch
Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright
Release Date
11 April 2014
Nav’s Grade: B

Adam lives in a very quiet part of Detroit, in a large house that has nothing anywhere near it, as he was once a well-known musician back-in-the-day, and is sick of living among the “zombies” (his reference to everyone he doesn’t know or class as friends), so has his non-vampire friend (his only friend it would seem) get someone to create a wooden bullet with very precise instructions. He tells Ian it’s for a video project and with Ian not knowing Adam’s a vampire he believes the story.

Sensing something’s wrong with Adam, from Tangiers Eva phones him up to see if she can figure things out, but she ends up deciding to take a night-flight to Detroit to find out what’s really happening with Adam. After around a week of catching up and reminiscing with each other, Ava lets herself in to Adam’s home and messes around with his music and musical instruments, then asks for blood because she’s been traveling for ages.

There is clear animosity between Adam and the wild Ava, because of something that occurred in Paris over eighty-years-ago, but, Ava is still as wild and destructive as she ever was, causing Adam and Eve having to hightail it to Tangiers. Adam had to leave his huge collection of priceless instruments behind, but, Eve has promised to buy him one of great value in Tangiers.

The cinematography, sets, and above all else, the acting, make this film worth seeing and helps because a lot of the time there isn’t much going on, narratively speaking. Watching Hiddleston and Swinton play their retro-cool vampires to perfection was another reason to see this film, along with the score, which not all will appreciate, but fitted the film well, with the addition of some dark humor, made this a must-see movie.

Review by Nav Qateel