Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2014)

Distinct by way of the auteur at its helm, Only Lovers Left Alive chronicles the current state of a centuries-long romance between devoutly faithful vampires Adam (Tom Huddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton). As long distance relationship woes peak, a mutual decision to reunite at the former’s dilapidated Detroit estate comes to fruition if only to be unceremoniously interrupted by Eve’s meddlesome sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska).

As I clamor to expand upon “vampires by way of Jarmusch,” let it be known that my loss for words reflects not the prowess of the singular proceedings. Shot through with characteristic, deadpan-heavy minimalism, the script deftly blends Adam and Eve’s aging hipster-esque personas with their logical self-educatory existentialism. Forgoing the typical run-and-gun bloodsucker mentality of well-worn vampire tropes, we’re instead graced with intelligent renditions of these creatures of lore, of whom are content with their eternal curse as they confidently evolve along with the times.

Predictably light on excitement, Only Lovers Left Alive still finds strength in its straightforward narrative trajectory, the sheer originality coinciding with a palpably restrained approach remaining admirable. Even despite the mundane repetition of their increasingly lonesome lifestyles, it becomes apparent that the nature of said existence is a result of society’s steady decay – something that’s made apparent through many an instance of nostalgic artistic appreciation and the like.

Although subject-fueled skepticism is inevitable, let it be known that Jarmusch’s gusto in weaving his trademark web shines throughout his latest. As it decidedly embraces subdued stylishness over tween absurdity, Adam and Eve’s exploits remain reasonably involving on account of their departure from the norm. Finding further solace in a pair of notable performances and their eclectic immortal counterparts, Only Lovers Left Alive is a mild subgenre-centric triumph and worthwhile as such.


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