Friday, October 28, 2016

year 5 day 178 Hallowe'en Week p4

movie: Byzantium
starring: Gemma Arterton, Johnny Lee Miller
genre: Thriller, Crime
year: 2012
format: DVD

plot: When a young girl decides she's had enough of the life she's been living on the run with her prostitute mother, she finds herself admitting to her new boyfriend that she is in fact a 200 year old vampire, who's been running with her vampire mother from a group known as the Brotherhood.

Based on the stage play  The Vampire's Story

This started off as a brilliant movie. You've got two lonely women who are on the run from some horrible group of bad guys, the mother self absorbed Clara, with getting them a decent "trick" and the daughter  Eleanor gloomily fed up. Then we start getting into their back story, as they end up right where they had started 200 years before, in this sleepy little coastal town.  The mother pretends that she has no idea where they are, and that they have never been there before, while the daughter has a photographic memory, and details their lives before becoming vampires.

The idea here, is the mother was barely a teenager when she was first spotted by a military captain, who rapes her leaving her in a whorehouse saying he's given her- her future employment as a prostitute. She ends up pregnant as a teenager and hands her baby over to a convent. Few years later, dieing of consumption, Clara becomes a vampire. Secretly watching over her daughter, she's sent into a rage when she learns that the same man who raped her, has done the same to Eleanor, she kills him then turns her own daughter into a vampire as well. This puts them on the radar of the Brotherhood, a sect of all male vampires who's number one rule is that any female vampires may not sire another.

It's never officially stated, but you do get the impression that the captain is the girl's father; as the narration at one spot says "of all the harlots he created she was his favourite"  referring to the mother and through a few scenes, we learn that they had a mildly respectful relationship that lasted over a few years.

I found the ending to be a bit of a let down, as they end up picking different lives for themselves. This was done by the same director who did Interview with the Vampire, and there are moments when you can't help but think of the direct story between Lestat and Louis. Not too mention, with the captain Ruthven, and his best friend Darvell, has all the markings of the main characters from Dr. John Polidori's  Vampyre. (Ruthven is the main vampire in Polidori's legendary story)

what did I learn? This is a metaphor for what women have had to live through for the last few hundred years in order to gain their independence.

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