As the love affair with vampires rages on, one of the new perspectives on the vampire genre, Byzantium attempts to return the character to its roots and reinvigorate them. It truly captures the true essence of the characters. This film attempts to return the respect for the classic character shed the awful aftertaste that has been left from the Twilight take on the characters.
Byzantium is a unique, pragmatic happenstance that utilizes two of the more used concepts in movie making. It creatively reinvents the oft told coming of age story as it intertwines it with one of the screen’s most revered and popular characters to craft a new viewpoint on it. It’s a great love story in its purest form. It’s touching, eerie, suspenseful, and scary all woven together to give one of the best takes on what the vampire has evolved to. The film stars Saroisee Ronan (The Host), Gemma Areton (Runner Runner)
Byzantium is one of the more realistic perspectives on the character. It gives a definitive, modern approach to the evolving of the vampire character. It follows a mother, Clara (Areton) & her daughter Eleanor Beck(Ronan) in this tale of two beings that are united by blood in more than one way. Byzantium is heavy on story and character development. The film is highlighted by a number of great moments that really define what it means to be an immortal. It emphasizes the isolation and loneliness of the life of immortality. It shows both the perks and the detractors of being an immortal and how both deal with the life of being cursed as a vampire. As one revels in her existence, the other is haunted by it. It utilizes the two outlooks to tell the story and fully submerge you into this tale. It gives us both perspectives on how they have approached the immortal life of a vampire. One preys on the wicked and the other preys on those who welcome death.
The biggest detractor from this tale is that it is hindered by a very slow start. It really rambles in the opening moments as it establishes the back story but not enough. After the first 20 or so minutes the film finally kicks in and the true greatness of the movie begins to take shape. It uses a number of flashbacks to tell the two main characters compelling history. .
Saroiose Ronan delivers a great performance as Elenaor. Her depiction is captivating. She is innocent, vulnerable, and tender, all in one. Her great performance is matched by Gemma Areton. This may be her best role to date. Areton’s masterful portrayal of Clara is a great as any vampire performance to date. She’s cunning, manipulative, and completely alluring. She is what the vampire of old was just as a woman.
Byzantium is the anti-twilight of the character. Whereas Twilight is about love, bliss, and the vampires making their existence beautiful, Byzantium forces the audience to see how much of a tortured existence being an immortal can be. It’s what the genre needs and how it should be. These vampires steal, prostitute, and murder to exist. This is the best take on the character since Let Me In. If you love the character then this is a must see. It’s not a great movie but it’s a great perspective on the vampire.