Thursday, 10 September 2009

Let the Right One In [2008]

On the surface (i.e. if one were to go by its plot skeleton) Let the Right One In might seem like a genre fare what with its tale of a vampire let loose; but scratch a little and what you have is a deeply disturbing and profoundly moving take on adolescence, friendship and growing up. The movie is about a frail, lonely and socially inept 12-year old boy – a regular target of a local bully who lives in a small Swedish town that is as quaint as it is brutally harsh, and who ends up befriending a mysterious girl who has recently moved in next door. He realizes later that the girl is in essence an ageless vampire, but that inescapable fact, instead of acting as a barrier to their burgeoning relationship, ends up adding deeper layers and philosophical undertones to it. The movie, in the tradition of great revisionist genre films, has completely deconstructed the myth, romance and horror associated with traditional vampire flicks. Though unabashed in its depiction of blood and violence, there isn’t any glamour associated with it for the simple reason that it never aspires to be spine-chilling (though it nonetheless is) in the conventional sense. Consequently what you have is a remarkable, deeply affecting, psychologically complex, visually stunning, hauntingly eerie, deeply melancholic and starkly beautiful movie that deserves a standing ovation as much for its detailing as for its near flawless execution.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Genre: Drama/Horror
Language: Swedish
Country: Sweden


sitenoise said...

It was a toss up for me between this and Synecdoche, NY for film of the year.

Shubhajit said...

Long time no see!

Well, I haven't watched Synecdoche, NY. So without going into any comparisons I can safely state that this was indeed a movie to savour. A sort of Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth or Devil's Backbone with the kind of stark realism that is distinctly Eastern European (the kind observable in Romanian and Austrian cinema).