143 of 151 people found the following review helpful
'I have been 12 for a long time....',
This review is from: Let the Right One in [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Frankly, I haven't liked many of the vampire movies that hit the theatres in the recent past. They had very little substance, apart from gore and blood. The only upside was the superb special effects. One did not however feel they were `real' characters, if you can use that term for a bloodthirsty vampire.
Into this arid cinematic landscape comes Let the Right One In, a Swedish movie that tells the moving story of a young vampire. The hauntingly beautiful story is rather simple - the vampire girl Eli ("I have been 12 for a long time"), develops a relationship with Oskar, a 12-year-old boy who is tormented by classmates at his Stockholm school. Their relationship blossoms in a frozen landscape, amidst the frenzy of murder necessitated by Eli's thirst for blood and Oskar's travails at school. It is a voyage of discovery for both protagonists in the movie - they learn the finer points of life (and death) from each other.
The viewer immediately warms up to both characters, played brilliantly by the two first-time leads. It is hard not to sympathise with Oskar, who finally learns to `handle' his tormentors the hard way on Eli's advice. Eli is one vampire you do not hate - her life is one long struggle for blood, company and love. The film does have gore - but it is not the primary focus. It has plenty of blood, but in the director's hand it becomes the conduit through which the two characters bond. Oskar stands by Eli even after learning that she is a vampire. If that is not love, what is ?
In that context, The Right One is a love story par excellence. The one thing that could have prevented Oskar from reaching out to Eli instead becomes their greatest strength. In one instance, Oskar saves Eli's life from a potential killer. The would-be killer ends up being a source of blood for Eli. She repays her gratitude in the final sequences of the film. Indeed, the eerie swimming pool scene is one of the finest moments of horror seen on film recently.
As for the technical aspects of the film, the cinematography is nothing short of excellent. It captures the desolate and snowy landscape of Sweden so well that one cannot help feeling the cold. The special effects are excellent for a non-Hollywood film. I am sure they will have better special effects in the forthcoming American remake, but will it retain the `soul' of this Swedish masterpiece? The acting is uniformly good too. There is no doubt that two leads will get more roles in Swedish and foreign films in the future.
There is a great debate on the Internet about the subtitle translation, but I did not encounter any problems on this Optimum release. Having no knowledge of Swedish, I cannot say whether it is the best available, but it worked for me and I had no trouble comprehending the dialogues. Of course, one always has to take into account that in any language, there are subtle nuances, play on words and unique idioms and expressions that may not lend themselves so well to translation in to another language. I have also not read the book, so I do not know how faithful the film is to the book (I know some changes have been done). But taken on its own, the film is well paced. This could be due to the fact that the author of the book has written the movie script as well.
Technically, the DVD is brilliant and the blu-ray must be even better. There were hardly any artefacts in the many night scenes. The sound is not demo material, but the engineers have crafted it well to match the `atmosphere' conveyed in the film.
In short, this is one film you should have in your DVD/blu-ray library. It is a remarkable piece of contemporary cinema, one that you would not forget for a long time. It will require the full attention of your mind - and the heart - for 110 minutes, but it's worth every second. Films like this come along only rarely, so treasure it while you can.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Feb 2010 02:48:52 GMT
Simao Rubim Gorjao says:
Can you tell me if the dvd comes with portuguese subtitles?
Posted on 11 Jun 2010 21:11:15 BDT
Purple Dragon says:
I really think you missed the point.
This is not a love story. The vampire is cold as death inside and out. She needed another person to become a killer for her, and the innocent, bullied, lonely young boy was perfect to mould. It's quite clear as the story progresses that she is taking away his aversion to violence, and even gets him to admit at one point that he would like to kill. This is a story about the corruption of innocence, under the guise of love. That's why it's such an effective horror story
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Aug 2010 12:16:52 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 20 Aug 2010 12:17:03 BDT]
Posted on 28 Oct 2010 13:31:41 BDT
I think the Americans are re-making this,i cant think why there is hardly any dialogue.!
Posted on 7 Dec 2010 11:08:44 GMT
For some reason this review appears under the reviews for the DVD version - sort yourselves out Amazon any one can look on the web for reviews of the film; we need reviews of the actual product you're selling!
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2011 20:19:42 GMT
Mr. S. Bowes says:
Purple Dragon, if anyone missed the point here it's you. The story deliberately leaves a lot open to speculation. There's the "she manipulated him" camp, and the "she loved him" camp. Both sides can make a strong case, but the way I see it is simple. If deep down you're a cynical person, then you'll perceive their relationship negatively. If you're not plagued by cynicism, then you'll perceive their relationship from a far more positive angle. Personally I can appreciate both viewpoints, but choose to believe that she did love him because there's plenty of evidence to support the idea and really nothing to debunk it. You certainly didn't. Good day o/
Posted on 19 Jan 2011 23:58:59 GMT
Mr. Michael N. Slater says:
I'm not sure I agree with Purple Dragon's take on the subtext of the film but it's certainly given me something to look out for when I watch the film again. I would say though that she obviously doesn't need someone to kill for her as she commits nearly all the murders herself anyway. I actually think there are several loopholes in the script but need to see it again to be sure.
Posted on 19 Feb 2012 20:42:34 GMT
Cj Butterfield says:
I strongly agree with Pramod's review of "Let the right one in". I have seen hundreds of foreigh language films but this film is one of the very best! The two performances from such young actors were frankly breathtaking. There was certainly a very strong bond between Eli & Oskar which got stronger and stronger as the film reached its powerfull climax. The only sad thing is that i would love to know what happened to Eli & Oskar when we left them to continue there journey. Where did they go on there train journey? I would love to see a sequel of this film so much.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2013 21:02:39 BDT
Glenn Richards says:
There was a short story written as a follow-up called "Let The Old Dreams Die". I won't post spoilers, but I will clear up the question that keeps getting raised (which the author of the novel stated was part of the reason behind the follow-up). No, Eli wasn't manipulating Oskar. She wasn't using him to "hunt" for her. She loved him. A lot of the loose ends are tied up in the follow-up story.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2013 09:40:52 BDT
Cj Butterfield says:
Thank you Glenn for posting your comment as I was unaware of a follow up to "Let the right one In". When I watched the the film I never felt that Eli was manipulating Oskar for her own ends. I could see that Eli had strong feelings for Oskar as was illustrated in one of the last scenes in the film where she saves Oskar form being murdered! If she did not have feeling for him she would not have been there watching over him, like some kind of guardian angel. Has there been a film made of "Let the old dreams die" or is it just in a book format Glenn?