Byzantium

star2star2star2star2

Director Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview With a Vampire) returns to the examination of dark, immortal souls in this beautiful and moody film. And while his taste in genre and style is wide ranging, his interest in good story remains constant. This film is visually stunning and character heavy, stretched tautly over the drum of despair and danger. It grabs you instantly and hangs on. Every aspect of the movie is well appointed from the technical to the talent.

Ronan’s (The Host, Violet and Daisy) presence is beautifully matched to the story and used well for this part. She is quiet but present. An eye to the storm that is Arterton (Unfinished Song, St. Trinian’s). The relationship and story that is ultimately revealed is heart-warming and disturbing all at once.

In the primary supporting roles Jones (Antiviral), Mays (Mr. Nobody), and Riley (13, Maleficent) each provide the necessary sounding boards and impediments to the characters. Jones, in particular, has a nicely developed story if a bit obvious. Only Miller (Frankenstein, Elementary) felt off to me. His portrayal was far too cliche for such a talented man. Not sure whether to blame the man, director, or script for that gaff.

Adapted from her own play, Buffini (Tamara Drewe) creates a full world and leaves the trappings of the stage play from which it sprung behind. It is clearly a movie script that was written. She is also unafraid to tackle big questions and reinvent myths without feeling self-conscious about it.

There was a lot of buzz about this film when it released, but it barely made a ripple on the movie-going public at large. Truly a loss for them. If you haven’t seen this yet, make the time. It has its flaws, but it is a thinking person’s horror film. There is some blood and gore, but only in service to the story. And the story is all in this solid piece of cinema.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.