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Someone said that this movie was too cerebral for horror fans who live for
drivel like "From Dusk 'Till Dawn", and too much of a horror movie for
people who look (or at least pretend to look) for meaning in movies --
pseudo-intellectuals. That person couldn't have been more correct. I'm not
horror fan, I'm not an Anne Rice fan...I'm not even fond of Tom Cruise,
Pitt, and Antonio Banderas. But Interview With a Vampire was a movie that
excelled my expectations.
I refused to see this film for 3 years because I believed it would be what I perceived it to be: glitzy Hollywood garbage geared toward adolescent girls with posters of the 3 main actors all over their walls. I finally broke down and rented it, and I was astonished by the incredible performances delivered, the thrilling dialogue and the way it was delivered by the actors, the scenery, the plot, the score...everything. I never thought that Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise could act, but their performances made their unbelievable characters a reality. However, the true star of the film was Kirsten Dunst. At 12 years old, this girl was able to hold her own against her co-stars, and often stole the scene (particularly the incident in which Claudia tries to cut her hair and subsequently Lestat discovers the corpse in her bed.)
You don't want to look for the meaning of life in this movie. It's a story. The plot is basically the history of a vampire's life, and I don't understand why people are compelled to trash a movie because of its simplicity. Look at the title. That's all it is, and if you expect more you're setting yourself up for disappointment. It's not the deepest of movies, that's why it should be enjoyed for the intense dialogue and the great production that went into it. Others trash the movie because of its homoerotic undertones. This aspect is so fleeting that it's ridiculous to dwell on it, and if you dwell on such an insignificant aspect of the movie then you were obviously looking for something to bother you. One additional thing: to even suggest that the violence in this film could be responsible for incidents such as the Columbine High School killings is beyond moronic.
This isn't the greatest movie that has ever been made, it's certainly not a complex analysis of life, or a parable with a moral dictating the enjoyment of life. It's a brilliantly produced gothic tale of a vampire, nothing more and nothing less. In respect to the book, I've never read it and I don't particularly care to read it. But for all of you who have been complaining about the movie not living up to the novel, here's a clue that might prove useful in the future: the book is ALWAYS better than the film. Don't waste your time complaining about something that is understood.
I, like Anne Rice, was initially dismayed that Tom Cruise had been cast as Lestat. But when I saw the film, I had to admit that he absolutely nailed the role. I had always thought of Cruise as a pretty boy, and not really a serious actor, especially since he failed in his attempt at a Streepian accent in "Far and Away". However, he perfectly portrayed Lestat for what he is, a monster with a monstrous ego. I think that this was the first film I had seen with Brad Pitt, followed shortly by "Legends of the Fall" so to me his acting credentials were impeccable, in spite of my female friends swooning over him. The rest of the cast was excellent as well, with the only minor quibble that Antonio Banderas was too old for the part of Armand. Kirsten Dunst was adorably evil. The cinematography was beautiful, considering that almost all of the film (of course) takes place at night. One note on the supposed "homo-eroticism" in the film. I have the advantage, having read Rice's books, so here is the deal on that. In Rice's world, the vampires are absolutely sexless. Therefore, gender has no meaning to them. When a vampire loves another, or a mortal, it is truly from the heart, as no sexuality of any kind ever enters into it. The only thing to them that is close, is the kill. Killing is highly "erotic" to vampires. However, this too is really asexual, and so again, gender has no bearing on the eroticism of the kill. I think that some elements of this, which apparently came across as homo-eroticism, were included in the screenplay just to emphasize how different, how non-human, that vampires are.
'Interview with the Vampire' is an atmospheric, highly gripping "film
involving vampires" - not a "vampire movie". Whilst the latter would
describe a film that focuses on its vampirism and might be judged on
the sharpness of its fangs, this "film involving vampires" has all the
merits of the very best cinema, and at its core is nothing but a
fantastic story carried by compelling, believable characters.
For those who may not be able to overlook the vampiric content, look again. The vampirism herein is a plot device, a way of presenting characters who cannot die or age or be harmed, so that the philosophical questions of life itself can be explored. But equally, for those who will be interested in the vampiric content, this film presents a rich mythology backed by a trilogy of books, which fleshes out the concept of the vampire in a much deeper way than any other production.
Every person has their own world view, their own way of living and thinking. People can be brooding, contemplative, cautious, reasonable, carefree, hedonistic, optimistic, emotional - and every shade in between. But these are all world-views based on the knowledge that life is short. What would happen if told their lives would never end? Who would be happiest? What would they do? How would eternal life affect each person? And most importantly, if a way of living was bringing meaning to a person's life, would that still work once life was infinite? All of these questions help us explore philosophical ideas as old as time, and that exploration is the focus of this film.
The story is propelled by vampires Louis (Pitt) and Lestat (Cruise), each representing a different take on life. Whilst Louis, who began as a depressive wanting to die, thinks of eternity as an extended curse; Lestat, who seems to live every second as it comes, barely even considers the future three minutes hence. Told from Louis' viewpoint as he struggles to find some meaning in a life he knows will never end, we are taken on a ride across the centuries, as Louis' outlook and happiness undulate whilst characters and relationships come and go.
Alongside Louis' turmoil in coming to terms with his (now eternal) life, a secondary theme is explored, which is the notion of survival. Even though Louis is clearly dissatisfied with life, he never attempts to end it, despite this option being open to him. In other words, surviving, in and of itself, was a motivation that outdid any other. Most importantly, survival outdoes Louis' trouble over the fact that his only source of nourishment is now the blood of living animals, preferably humans. Despite attempting abstinence, and then attempting to drink only the blood of rodents, this basic feeding instinct proves too much for Louis. And yet, as Lestat points out, what is the problem? The fittest always survives, and whoever is lower down the food-chain will be eaten. Humans eat animals, and vampires eat humans - it's all natural. But nonetheless, are there moral limits? Even if you have to kill a human, is there a more moral way to do it? "Monstrous," Louis exclaims, as he watches a group of vampires murder a defenceless girl. Yet might survival require the forgetting of moral consciousness, like Lestat?
'Interview with the Vampire' explores all of these deep, important issues whilst delivering an incredibly powerful story populated by charismatic characters, haunting and diverse settings and immortal dialogue. Gripping from start to finish, you will be enamoured at the vampire-world opened up to you; and by the end, you are left wondering what choice you would have made, given the one that Lestat never had...
I have a passion for films with dark settings. What's even better is when
the film is not only dark and dismal but also deep and engrossing. With a
combination of Anne Rice's script and Neil Jordan's direction, the
overlooked Interview with the Vampire not only looks great but contains
material. Most of the time when a film is based on a novel it will try to
capture the themes of the novel by choosing areas to work from. Luckily
Rice also writes the screenplay and understands more than anyone else what
areas need addressing, providing the backbone to the dialogue and
Set in 1791 Orleans and progressing through different periods of time, IWTV is technically excellent and aware of its surroundings. From the first moment your eyes are fixed on the screen. This is the sign of great art direction coupled with costume design and set pieces that are more than pleasing on the eye. Far from in your face the film allows a taste of each period with a mixture of light and colourful scenes to the more prominent dreary settings it encompasses. Moonlit streets, abandoned plague ridden residential and underground gothic architectures all add to the great detail that has been taken in creating a believable and picturesque look to the films periods it contains. Helped also by a musical score that really lurks in the background, depicts the time and in some areas the feeling aptly.
The story, told with a mixture of narration from the protagonist (Brad Pitt in this case) and a screenplay with enough room for all the stars makes a tight little package. At just over 2 hours long though, this may put off the viewer looking for an all out action vampire piece or those with little patience. Interview after all is a drama at heart with horror elements but what sets it apart from others is the humane way in which it's dealt with. A point in the film that leans on stereotypical vampire views sets the tone of the film perfectly, fiction aside Vampires aren't so unlike humans which is portrayed through the emotions (or rejection of them) throughout. One of the key players in such a task is surprisingly Tom Cruise as the bad influence Lestat. In one of his more challenging roles, Cruise conveys a charm that fits the theatricals of his character perfectly. Through excellent makeup and clothes from a period he refuses to break free from, Cruise is less distinguishable but all the more better for losing the usual side of him that may have been too familiar. Left only with a look of ferocity and impertinence Cruise works his role to a brilliant combination that really brings out the character of Lestat making him extremely fun to watch. Lestat's mood swings and cruel insinuations really spark the film up, stealing every scene he's in.
What makes the film interesting is how every character has a background and each character has different things that make them tick. Along for the ride with Cruise and Pitt is a very young Kirsten Dunst as the disillusioned vampire child Claudia. It seems that Jordan is a good director for getting performances as Dunst gives a fine performance at such a young age, definitely showing more promise than the usual teenage focal points she has set herself on since. While Lestat is the most enjoyable character and practically the teacher, Louis and Claudia are the key elements to a story of self-discovery concerning the dark world they have joined. Other than this Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas share little screen time but enough to make their characters wholesome enough.
One area that I applaud but others may disclude is the vivid scenes of a gory nature used profusely throughout. Jordan, going for realism and with blood being an important part of vampire life includes graphic details.. and with no holds barred. Jordans realistic touches add only to the plausibility of the vampire way of life, emphasising the grotesque way of living they are lumbered with for eternity. Such a eternal damnation is one of the main themes of the film exploring the depreciation of Louis and Claudia and how they come to terms with their new life. It would seem that such a serious tone to a fictional tale would make it hard to enjoy but with a mixture of dark humour throughout the film knows not to take itself 'too' seriously. The end clearly establishes this fact nicely.
Minor quibbles aside like some hokey dialogue from time to time and despite Pitt underplaying his performance a little, among the Vampire genre and even as a drama this is a classy piece of work from a intelligent director with a flair for dark style (in most of his other films too), and more importantly produces a epic tale with sturdy direction. If you have the interest for a drama, specifically based around vampires there is little other choice than this. Through its fine performances and stunning look one things for sure, you wont forget this one easily.
7.5 out of 10
When you ask someone to name the best movies to come out of the
early-mid 90's, not many people would mention this movie. That's too
It isn't American Beauty deep, but the film presents real human emotions through the surreal notion of vampires. Cinematography, set design, and score are top notch. It doesn't look dated at all, particularly in this day in age of CG, blue screen galore.
The acting....i hate to admit, because i'm not by any means a brad pitt or tom cruise fan....is pretty darn good. This was the first film I saw tom cruise in and thought (gee...the pretty boy can act), the other coming to mind being Magnolia. Brad Pitt isn't as great, but holds his own and it's a quiet, somber Brad Pitt, which is a good change to the normally twitchy, over-the- top characters he portrays (fight club, 12 monkeys, ocean's 11....even se7en to a certain extent). and of course.....kirsten dunst....who's best role in her career is this film.
I haven't read the book, so i am writing purely on the film. Apparent by the other reviews here, there are people who really like this movie. It's a shame that more people haven't given this movie a chance.
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE: THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound formats: Dolby Digital / SDDS
17th century New Orleans: The relationship between an ancient vampire (Tom Cruise) and his bloodsucking protegé (Brad Pitt) is tested to destruction by a young girl (Kirsten Dunst) who challenges their established dynamic, leading to betrayal and murder.
A doom-laden meditation on life and death and the nature of grief, based on Anne Rice's bestselling novel (written as a response to the death of her beloved daughter), and featuring two of contemporary Hollywood's most recognizable stars (both astonishingly beautiful here) as vampire and willing victim, remaining eternally young as the world evolves around them. Cruise plays a seasoned killer who revels in bloodthirsty excess, while Pitt is a conscientious objector who balks at the prospect of drinking human blood, until Cruise creates a 'companion' for Pitt in the shape of a little girl (Dunst) who refuses to grow old gracefully, with tragic consequences.
Scored with melancholy grace by composer Elliot Goldenthal, and beautifully designed and photographed (by Dante Ferretti and Philippe Rousselot, respectively), the film is epic in concept and execution, spanning the social upheavals of 17th and 18th century America and the horrors of 19th century Europe, where a nest of ancient vampires (led by scene-stealer Antonio Banderas and a miscast Stephen Rea) wreak terrible revenge on those who transgress against vampire lore. But, for all its spectacle, director Neil Jordan (THE COMPANY OF WOLVES) - working from a script credited to Rice herself - maintains a leisurely pace and never loses sight of the characters. The movie contains some beautiful, transcendent passages, including a breathtaking transition from 19th century Europe to modern day America via the introduction of motion pictures (everything from SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS to GONE WITH THE WIND and SUPERMAN!), and an incredibly moving sequence in which a once-proud vampire is discovered in exile, laid low by his own vanity.
The film's delicate tone is upset by a trick ending which comes completely out of left-field, though Jordan has denied any suggestion of studio interference. And, as with the novel, the homoerotic undercurrent is mere window-dressing, an unconsummated tease which the filmmakers (and Rice herself) refuse to explore in any detail, lest it frighten the mainstream crowd. Sadly, the movie is dedicated to the memory of River Phoenix - originally cast as the interviewer who provides one half of the film's title - who died of a drugs overdose during pre-production; his role was taken by Christian Slater. Followed by QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (2002).
A man (Brad Pitt) who turned into a vampire way back in 18th century New Orleans tells his life (and afterlife) story to a skeptical modern-day journalist (Christian Slater) in novelist Anne Rice's unique take on the famed supernatural creatures of the night. Pitt goes into major details on how he became a vampire (thanks to vampire loon Tom Cruise in a wickedly wild over-the-top turn) and his run-ins with others like him (a very young Kirsten Dunst and a then-unknown Antonio Banderas). Opulently realized schizophrenic exercise that has a little bit of something for most audiences. Pitt is focused, Cruise is unbound and Dunst arguably does the work of her life. Director Neil Jordan (who is best known for films of similar style like "The Crying Game") knows exactly which buttons to push and when to push them. While flawed in many areas, "Interview With the Vampire" is still nevertheless a fun and entertaining venture that definitely has blood, teeth and wings. 4 stars out of 5.
Although Neil Jordan's "Interview with the vampire: The Vampire chronicles"
definitely has its own devoted fans (7.0 out of 10 can't be a bad
average...) it's still unfortunately maybe a slightly underrated movie - at
least among professional critics. I haven't read Anne Rice's famous novel
but it doesn't seem like the most logical vampire book to start with since I
still haven't read Bram Stoker's "Dracula" either.
I've seen this movie couple of times and I have to admit that I enjoyed it very, very much. And why not? Tom Cruise was quite excellent as his rather unusual role of Lestat de Lioncourt and Brad Pitt was just brilliant like he normally is as Louis de Pointe du Lac. Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater were good too, can't deny it either. The story was dark, peculiar and it had some really twisted humor.
This hasn't got much to do with the actual film but being a big Guns n' roses fan "Interview with the vampire: The Vampire chronicles" has a special place in my heart. The Rolling stones cover we hear during the end credits ("Sympathy for the devil") was the last single Gn'R released with its good old line-up. This movie is one of the best vampire flicks. Not the best, though. Nothing can beat Roman Polanski's "Fearless vampire killers". But like I said, one of the finest of this genre.
I am a vampire lover and this is the ultimate vampire movie (second only to "Bram Stoker's Dracula") consisting of the two sexiest male vampires ever created- Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. I must admit at first I thought Tom Cruise was a touch too 'apple pie' for this role, but he ultimately knocked my socks off! In fact, he is my second favourite vampire ever, second only to the incredible Gary Oldman in "Bram Stoker's Dracula". And Brad Pitt - oooh Brad Pitt - is hands down the most gorgeous vampire ever. And he played the role of Louis convincingly... but in my eyes would've suited the role of Lestat as well. If you love vampire movies, violence and gore, with a touch of romance and sadness then you will also love this film.
Neil Jordan who is masterful with small intimate films, served up scrambled eggs on this picture where budget was no object. There is an entire hour missing from all the released versions because in 1994 Geffen/Warner Bros. didn't believe a film audience would sit through a well paced, well told story for three hours. No one in charge had seen Apocalypse Now. Perhaps someday it will be reedited and my work and the entire hour withheld will be added.
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