12.2.10

Dracula

...the love story. Regarded as possibly Coppola's worst film. So naturally, I rather liked it. Ravishing, gorgeous, like a Perfume made twenty years ago, but with a Burton gothikk edge and Tom Waits playing a crazy man. Even with Keanu and Winona's blank expressions, I found the hammy horror-ness of it all enormous fun. And if you can look past the dodgy prosthetics and effects, Coppola does throw some wonderful images at you. And what about Gary Oldman playing 'Draculle', eh? Perfect choice. Weird looking and freakazoid, and yet dripping with sex-appeal. And Antony Hopkins was less the assured adventurer of the book and more dangerous madman, who sees 'Draculle' less as a demon and more as a rival. Very nice idea. And Hopkins... well we all know he can do mad pretty well.

Also, themes. Coppola may well have been trying to say something, or at least stay faithful to the emphases of vampire and gothic fiction: the limits of rationality, the repressed nature of civilized man, the allure and danger of sexual desire. The love story that develops and the strange redemptive ending were more baffling. But then again, we still got to see Oldman as this crazed orgasaming Jesus with a sexed-up Magdalene sucking at the wound in his ribs. That kind of blasphemy is worth the price of admission all by itself. No?

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