Looking Back…Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

To celebrate the release of I Saw The Light, Sarah looks at Tom Hiddleston’s best work in Only Lover’s Left Alive.

I have to admit that in my journey through cinema, I have missed one vital director; Jim Jarmusch. In fact, a few writers of my film team have filled our section with glorious articles on his films and I’ve been sat there, editing them, like “how do I not know about his man?” Because for glorious and intense independent films that spout poetry and intellect, Jarmusch is your man.

Starring the delectable Tom Hiddleston and the wonderful Tilda Swinton, Jarmusch has re-vamped the vampire genre. It revolves around Adam and Eve, two ancient vampires who are living in the 21st Centuary. Adam is a rock-star who is plagued by fans and finds solace in a companion in Ian. Eve lives away, getting the best blood from a dealer. When Adam finds himself lost and as suicidal as a vampire can be, a phonecall from Eve, who happens to be his wife, reunites the soulmates. But their reunion is lessened by the arrival of Eve’s sister Ava upsets the roster.


This is exactly how you develop a waning genre and bring it into a modern setting. Conflicting the gothic poetry of the vampire lore with the bright lights of cities makes Only Lovers Left Alive. The drawl of the drama is, albeit slightly pretention, is purely divine. Jarmusch weaves a story that is not only visual in depth and so vibrantly beautiful that your eyes will devour every scenic joy. The film is infused with wit, dark humanistic emotions that can only be experienced in the after-life and a lack for life from the already dead. The haze that surrounds Only Lovers Left Alive is simply celestial, like a sleep walk through the film that’s dreamscape is impossible to not adore.

At the centre of this impossibly gorgeous film is two stars that exude this bereft and depth of a vampire life. Brooding and cynical, Tom Hiddleston’s Adam is stunningly done. Hiddleston conveys the want for rest, that archaic notion that life has been lived repeatedly and the stumbling world around him just effervesces this aura that irritates him. He deliberately adds personality that is both droll and exhausted. His counterpart is just as delightful. Tilda juxtaposes his lust for “death” with this calm yet jovial nature that is able to capture light within the dark. Her lucid acting that powerful captures verse and speech. The pair entwine in this mystical relationship that enchants in its mystery.


It’s impossible not to hear this review in a sultry tone. But that is almost the narrative of this film. Only Lovers Left Alive is a good charming independent film. It oozes the romping sex appeal and seduces the audience. Though vampires will always perforate our cinematic outings, ranging from the bad to the excellent. But no one will ever do vampires quite like Jim Marmusch who simply and exquisite gives us this wonderful film. The little nuances, the impeccable music and two lovers, strewn across the stars of time make Only Lovers Left Alive simply magnificent.


I Saw The Light is out in cinemas now 

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