Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Let the Right One In" (2008) - Movie Review

Movies like “Let the Right One In” triumphs because of the composure it brings along to a story which in reality would have so much flaw and plot holes in it. It is a calm, very calm film meditating on the unrelenting force of survival and incapability of control over it. It then takes its focus towards the society inbreeding the violence very early at the age when kids aggravate their bullying into something else. Then it plays an unusual tone of relationship between a twelve year old boy and another twelve year looking girl to mould into something else without a single bit of perversion or uncomfortableness. Staying still and unnerving, “Let the Right One In” is a film which entertains you purely on its making and mood than anything else.

This Swedish film focuses on a wintery town. A young tame boy, Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) lives with his mother. While he invades his anger alone in his room in an act of retaliation towards being humiliated and bullied by his classmate Conny (Patrik Rydmark) earlier at his school, he sees a neighbour move in. An old man (Per Ragnar) comes with a young girl (Lina Leandersson). Soon Oskar and the young girl meet at the apartment playing yard and begin to converse to defy their loneliness. Thus begins a strange journey for these two of them.

See the girl comes out only in the night and her caretaker goes out and tries to bring blood for her. All becomes clear without any explicit dialogues that she is not human. Only later in the film does the confirmation from Oskar towards her reveals that she is a vampire. She also says she is not a girl to Oskar. In the icy cold winter wherein the trees have given up their leaves to stay still and not perturb the eerie silence, the film is a movement in its essence of an unfazed image . Nothing sudden happens even with really tense moments when the young girl whose name is Eli hunts out of survival to quench her blood thirst.

It is not a film about horror or thriller as the immediate nature to connect vampire and blood to the genre usually does. It is a film of a surrounding wherein a vampire becomes a better friend than one’s human class mates. Despite being to kill and survive, Eli seem to not even try to resist in attacking Oskar. There seems to be a connection out there itself without any sense of affection in words and physicality. These two who are actually kids are posed as mature beings but in their little world of limited sensibility.

If Eli works with such an abnormal perfection, it is the casting of the little girl Lina Leandersson. She has grown up eyes but tiny in her appearance. She has eerie appearance but a subtle unusual beauty for her age. We see an aging and tired being but also a kid gave up trying to grow up. It is that which makes us like this blood seeking character. It is also because of that there is a complete cuteness when Eli and Oskar talk out of going steady and having a chance with each other.

What is also a little bit of downfall is the sense of the real to life depiction not suiting the material in hand. Is it because there is an absolute impossibility of a vampire film made to exist in the life we lead? Was there any super natural film which attempted to co-exist with our daily life? Thinking hard and wild, it is tough to recollect any film in that realm at all. I believe it is the inability to see this unknown and unseen pair of actuality with the fiction having to hold hands. And that appears a little out of place.

From the novel of same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist who also penned the screenplay for the film, it is a tale of untold rhythms. I was not enthralled but very silently entertained. In the music and pictures of this chilly weather and unique characters, we see humanity, inhumanity, animal instinct and a stretch of love which would have gone wrong in so many ways by stepping aside in tiniest proportion.

“Let the Right One In” does not have a purpose. It is a short story arriving at its will to its center line piece of these two beings finding solace with each other. Convincing plot, untied knots becomes unnecessary when there is a whole lot exploration and aesthetic beauty left to be seen in rest of the film. In that we forget the logic and are tickled by the sweetness of the script and the sympathy it creates on this tragic character of Eli. While we become to accept the nature of Eli in killing humans, we could not come to conclusion on these bullying kids going beyond imagination to cause trouble to their class mate. May be we are separating too much and placing and thinking too high of us to expect something brutal. May be we are all vampires inside ready to suck in the meager humanity residing in prospective weakened souls. May be we have become to find our Oskar and live with an understanding called love. It sounds too cheesy but it is the only connection with our sanity among beasts.

1 comment:

vani said...

I liked the ending :-)

What do you think of the title? - could it be from a third person's perspective, don't let Eli in your(Oscar) life or could it be from Eli's perspective of not letting the abusive boys in Oscar's life.