Saturday, March 15, 2014

Byzantium Review

You know how they say that when you mix crap with chocolate you don't actually improve crap, you just get more crap? Yeah, that's kind of like what Byzantium is like.





The 2012 British film produced by Demarest Films by director Neil Jordan tries very hard to escape the vampire conventions, but it doesn't really do it's own thing, either.

Let's get this out of the way first: My rating for this movie is: ♥ (5♥) I am more critical than Rotten Tomatoes are.

I want to quote Maven here, who says: 'Vampire stories that go: 'I exist, isn't that creepy and unnatural?' don't really do anything for us anymore, because we've seen them before. For a modern vampire story to work it has to be 'I did something' and I have to say, I completely agree.

Personally, I want to give Byzantium props for two things:

1. Incredibly pretty visuals. I am not sure if the visuals are worth your while, but still.

2. Changing the vampire mythos.  I like it when things are different, even though I like my conventional vampires.

Now for the breakdown:

Characters:

1. Clara - Clara is the more dynamic and more interesting main character. She's the mother. I really wanted to like Clara, but the movie doesn't really know how it feels about her and therefore, I don't know what the hell I am supposed to think about her.

2. Eleanor - Eleanor is our completely one-dimensional, emo protagonist. She isn't exactly conflicted about being a monster as a good vampire protagonist would be. Her big story arc is about not able to share her secret, which is a  weak source of conflict. All she really does throughout the film is wangs.

3. Captain Ruthven - This is the guy, who turned Clara into a prostitute. He is just a shallow, mustache-twirling villain. He's never given any depth or even a reason. He just does it for the evulz.

4. Noel - Noel is the guy Clara hooked up with. He's sweet and really seemed to care about Clara and want to take care of her and Eleanor, yet  he got a very bland and offensively dismissive ending. I felt bad for the guy.

5. Frank - Frank is Eleanor sort of human boyfriend and appropriately so, as he was just as one-dimensional as she is. I did not understand his thought process at all and that's really all I have to say about him - there's simply nothing more to the character.

The relationship between mother and daughter:
What relationship? The movie wasn't about their relationship and either way, nothing was solved by the end of the movie/

Narrative:
This was one of the most boring movies I've seen. It never felt like the story was leading me somewhere. There was no story goal, nothing that points to where you are in the movie, besides the climax, which was the last 20 minutes.

The end:
This is not a good word to describe it, because the movie doesn't really ends. It just sort of... stops. It doesn't conclude it doesn't feel like a coherent story that leads you somewhere.

The romance:
One of these romance had no previous prelude or indication to it, besides the ending and the other was you basic emo whiny high-school romance. I am only glad that it was set aside as a subplot, because the romance was really underwhelming.

Life Begins At A Man:
This is probably one of my biggest problems with the film. These two women basically just pop into existence one day, when a man shows up in their lives. They have no character before that and  therefore they are just clich├ęs. I didn't feel for them as much as I wish I did.

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