Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Byzantium (2012)

Director – Neil Jordan
Writers – Moira Buffini,
Production Company – Demarest Films, Lipsync Productions, Number 9
Stars – Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton

I’m a decent fan of The Borgias (writer/director Neil Jordan), though I often find it a little slow and drawn out.  That’s the same thing I have to say about Byzantium.  Cool story, nice rich look, but it’s a little slow for my taste.  I still hung on to Byzantium, it oozes quality, so I let it do its thing.  The screen play is by Moira Buffini (screenwriter/Jane Erye), that’s another movie I like but found decently slow.  So what’s my overall take?  Quality story, slow paced – but worth watching if you enjoy character driven flicks. 

Can I also just say what a small freaking world!  I watched Byzantium and Jane Erye back to back and had no clue it was the same darn screenwriter until about 15 minutes ago. 

Byzantium takes a new spin on things, with two strong female leads that couldn’t be any more different. Saoirse Ronan plays Eleanor, she’s quiet and always looking inside herself for something deeper.  Gemma plays Clara, Eleanor’s ever serving backer, keeping the two vampires with a roof over their heads for a couple of hundred years.  The performances by Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton are impeccable, I found myself getting lost in their delivery of lines, which was very nice.  I give mad props to the screen writer and actresses. 

So we have this lovely pair, and they’re vampires, and they feed.  You get to see just how different they are when it comes to the way they procure blood.  Eleanor gently massages her prey with her deep emotional hands, only taking from people who are in their twilight time or on the verge of crossing over.  She’s never scary, only gentle like an angel who’s been sent to these people to help them over.

Clara’s wild, and you’ll come to appreciate her far more as time goes on in this movie.  She’s sloppy at best, you’ll question why she does the things she does – but it all comes to light with timed flashbacks that help to tell the entire tale of this pair. Clara’s been used, it’s only natural that she would treat the rest of the world as a game that needs to be played in order to get what she needs.  She’s quite the protector, and by using her many strengths against those that would use her she’s able to help those that are weaker.

I definitely got lost in the cinematography and music, it’s gorgeous.  It’s so darn methodical, even to a fault…for me of course.  Like I said I did find myself checking the clock a few times, but it always kept me hanging on because I wanted more of this gem of a story. 

Caleb Landry plays Frank, he becomes quite obsessed with Eleanor and she with him.  They were a perfect fit in my opinion.  They’re both very awkward in this movie, and I could see them spotting each other in any surroundings and being drawn together.  That’s always a plus.  I hate it when movies thrusts two people together and really can’t give you any reason for the attraction. Here we have to very unique individuals, shy, awkward, perfect for overall tone.  I couldn’t have seen Eleanor with anyone else.

So while we learn both present and past information on Clara and Eleanor, you’ll also be privy to the larger picture.  The Brotherhood is out to find and eliminate Clara and Eleanor.  Through intelligent flashbacks, that are not at all cheesy, as flashback can sometimes be - you’ll come to understand how vampires fit into this world and why Clara and Eleanor are so different on many levels.

Want to know something else that’s cool – blood waterfalls…nuff said.  Also just took one more look at Neil’s directing list and he’s the director of Interview with the Vampire.  I swear I learn something new every day.  Sometimes I find out I’ve liked quite a few things from one director, Neil’s one of those directors.

Great Story, directing, acting - but I was a little bored - I guess I'm perplexed as to what my rating is....This is between a 6 and 7.


1 comment:

  1. I've been meaning to see this for ages! Definitely be looking out for it on my next DVD buying binge.