Movie review: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Only Lovers Left Alive was not the movie I was expecting to see. I expected…a stronger, fuller story. I expected…a plot. I expected…something to happen, themes to be developed.

The movie revolves around two vampires, Adam and Eve, who have been lovers and spouses through the centuries, but for some reason I never understood (and neither did the vampire Christopher Marlowe), they live apart. Continents apart. She in Tanzania. He in Detroit.

Adam is a musician, eschewing the limelight (literally and figuratively) and chronically depressed (Christopher Marlowe lamented that it was too bad he hadn’t met Adam before he…yes, he, not Shakespeare…wrote Hamlet). Eve is a bookworm and friend to Marlowe who also lives in Tanzania.

Eve calls Adam and discovers that he is blue so she travels to visit him in Detroit. The two spend time just lounging around or driving through Detroit. And then disaster hits. Finally. The second hour into the movie.

Eve’s troublemaking sister Ava shows up and proceeds to destroy some of Adam’s belongings (including a 1905 guitar), to greedily consume A-grade blood he had on hand, and then to “drink” Ian, Adam’s contact with the outside world who supplied him with vintage music equipment.

After kicking Ava out and dumping Ian’s body, Eve convinces Adam to come back to Tanzania with her. Weakened from travel, they desperately need to contact Marlowe, who routinely supplies Eve with the blood she needs to survive. Alas, Marlowe is dying from contaminated blood he consumed, a concern of vampires in the modern age who rely on obtaining blood supplies rather than preying on humans.

Now with their lifeline to blood gone, Adam and Eve look destined to die. Until a pair of lovers comes into view. And their vampire natures reemerge.

Only Lovers Left Alive is a quirky movie without a driving storyline. I was surprised to see how well it was received and rated by critics. Not that it is a bad movie, it just isn’t one that engaged me much mentally or emotionally.

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