Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I just returned from the BAM Rose Cinemas (Brooklyn Academy of Music) seeing a fabulous movie entitled Let The Right One In.
This Swedish mystery/horror film tells the story of a 12 year old little boy named Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) who endures the taunts and bullying of his classmates who pounce on his shy, withdrawn and awkward demeanor. Oskar retreats into himself and gruesome newspaper clippings to find solace. One night, he befriends a strange little girl, Eli (Lina Leannderson), who is 'about' the same age as him. She is also an outcast of sorts but has one thing that Oskar doesn't have - aggression. The two become fast friends and confidantes, sharing secrets, coded language and ways of dealing with people who get in their way. Once the little girl's true identity is learned - she is a vampire - Oskar retreats from their friendship, but realizes that he truly loves her despite their physiological differences. They begin to 'help' one another in ways that don't sit well with their neighbors or the police.
The movie is very quiet and unassuming. It is not about graphic special effects, grossing you out or cheap scare tactics. It is about uprooting the idea of the outsider as the enemy. You find yourself rooting against the supposed 'victims'. You begin to realize that in this movie, 'victim' and 'attacker' are relative turns and that karma can be a real BITCH!!! Oskar and Eli fill the screen with their adorable faces, innocence blooming into knowledge and an emotional understanding beyond their years. They begin to balance one another. They each need what the other has to offer and they are smart enough and love one another enough to learn important and necessary lessons.
It's ironic that TWILIGHT is the number 1 movie in America right now. I have not seen it, but I do know that it is a very Hollywood version of a teen vampire love story. LTROI is not necessarily about romantic love, it is about an innocent, pure, childhood love that connects two people at the soul. There is a quiet intensity and intimacy to their relationship that is beyond sex or lust (afterall, they are only 12!).
I will not go to see Twilight. LTROI has made it unnecessary to see. When you see something so intense, artful, heartfelt and touching, there is no need to see the glammed up, watered down, commercial little sister.
This movie is only playing in arthouse theaters - if you can find it - GO SEE IT!!! It is a thought provoking and hauntingly beautiful piece of work.