full moon and in love
i know i’m in love when happiness, pain, excitement and hope create a harmony so perfect that it sends my heart and body into undulating chills of ecstasy.
that’s exactly what i felt while watching tomas alfredson’s swedish vampire movie from john aivide lindqvist’s adaptation of his novel, let the right one in (lat den ratte komma in). i fell in love with the movie, the love story and the whole vampire lore presented in a different light, delving into the wickedness of the society, the sheer desire for that human connection and the pain of adolescence where bullies are scarier than monsters and vampires.
the movie follows the development of the relationship between oskar (kåre hedebrant) and eli (lina leandersson) as they deal with conflicts within themselves and struggles in their environments.
oskar is this 12 year old boy devoid of the color of blood circulating all over his body who is constantly tormented by the issues of his separated parents, and the bullying of his classmates. one night he met eli, the girl who just moved to the next door apartment accompanied by an old man, and made an instant connection with her.
like oskar, eli had her fair share of issues. first, she is a vampire trapped in a body of a 12 year old girl who never grows old. then her thirst for human blood makes her smell funny (according to oskar), and prolonged thirst deteriorates her slowly. no animal blood substitute though; just plain human blood. next, she longs for a normal human contact like she craves for blood. you can see and feel through the movie how this blood-thirsty creature craves for the simplest human connection that she can establish with oskar- holding hands.
together, oskar and eli find comfort in the strangeness of their situation. eli’s vampire nature did not disturb oskar. in fact, he even asked her to go steady with him. eli offered to help oskar overcome the bullies, and oskar provided eli the warmth and the comfort of a companion who accepts her for who she is. both of them developed a stable symbiotic relationship that no icy weather can freeze.
the movie lacks the teeny-bopper elements of twilight. no pop-alternative soundtrack to highlight the scenes, no tight shots of porcelain-faced vamps, and no action-packed spectacle. it’s just the plain, icy-cold steady environment of the film that will send you to the depths of your imagination and realizations imbibing the emotional rollercoaster experienced by the characters.
no, it’s not the violence, gore and horror that hooked me into this movie but the love that happened between oskar and eli. it’s that kind of love that transcends silence. it’s that kind of love that travels through the eyes to the heart. it’s that kind of love where holding hands give you more pleasure than body contact; it’s that kind of love that sees beyond what is physical.
all the gore and the graphic killing act of eli did not scare me at all. it is the harsh realities of growing up, the violence of bullying, the pain of having separated parents, and the struggle of longing for company, for someone to understand you, but at the same time risking many aspects of your life, that gave me the chills.