Thursday, 14 July 2011

Lat den ratte komma in - Let the right one in

2008 by Tomas Alfredson

I am not fond of horror movies actually, especially the modern ones and the hollywood owned studio&CG movies. In most of the modern horror movies, there is very little of cinematic art than trying to do any gimmicks to generate stupid fear. But reading the synopsis for Lat den ratte komma in, there was a kind of spark immediately. This isnt a horror movie, there is something more and it was. What a brilliant movie. It is neither horror nor romantic. It is more like a realistic adolescent romance which has some brilliant fantasy woven into it. Similar to El Laberinto de Fauno, there is a brilliant mix of fantasy and reality, just that the fantasy element here is an adolescent vampire who is friend with an adolescent boy.

Oskar, lives with his single mother and is often bullied by some boys at the school. He dreams revenge on the boys often. He meets Eli (both should be around 12 years), who starts living in the next apartment with an elderly looking man. They become friends slowly and soon Oskar realise that Eli is a Vampire, who is ready to help him have his revenge. 

I would not call this movie as horror movie, never. However there might be people who still want to call it so, because of the presence of the Vampire. In that case I hope they understand that this is a classic make of that genre of cinema compared to the immature popular ones.

The movie has a brilliant script, which is shot brilliantly too. There are only few characters and the most interesting is the elderly man with Eli, who is looking to collect human blood for Eli. Couple of his attempts fail and he offers his own blood for Eli, in a truly brilliant scene. There are also other similar scenes like the one in a secret place, when Oskar wants to join his blood with Eli, and then sees for himself the change on her etc.. But what do I say, all these scenes are shot, as if it is something normal, emotions are still kept subtle even as a natural is in love with an unnatural. From the beginning Eli keeps telling Oskar that she isnt a girl but he is still happy to be her friend, as he doesnt have a real friend. There is only a slight perplexed expression, when for once he get to have a peak at Eli and in a split second realises that she is not completely a girl. It is almost like the case of people who have been living an out of the ordinary life can easily accept the most unnatural things in life.

The climax when Oskar is seen to travel in a train, with Eli inside a small box, was so beautiful, but will keep us wondering what will happen to them. One of those endings, which will make us crave for a second part, curious about the future of these two innocent souls. I will say even Eli is an innocent soul here as she seems to be sad always and how and when she became a vampire is never explained in the movie, nor are we worried about it while we watch. At the same time, there is no tone of sentimentality at all in the whole movie.

To make this kind of movie, without any gory scenes or CG (may be only in one frame of the fire), but still making a profound impact on our souls, is brilliant. I am not a  believer of all this super naturals, but the movie is so brilliant that I kept thinking about Eli for long.  The makers of Twilight, would be embarassed by this movie, I am sure.

The cinematography is superbly brilliant. There are so many ultra close up shots, which makes wonderful portraits of Eli and Oskar. The snowbound setting adds a lot to the mood of the movie.

I would rate this as one of the best movies I have seen so far. Absolutely brilliant piece of imagination.