Plenty of movies warn of the destruction cause by humans if their excessive consumerism and disregard for the environment continues. The film industry is rather saturated with dystopian films, even when only considering those made in the past ten years; Cloud Atlas, Children of Men, V for Vendetta among the best of them, The Purge, Divergent, and Babylon A.D. among the worst. And although they cover a wide range of genres it feels rather unoriginal to release another film about human society falling under their own corruption.
Yet, here is a movie dark and dreary but never depressing, creative and clever but never over-the-top and so seemingly simple. Only Lovers Left Alive is so brilliantly acted and directed it seems to tell itself. It feels so natural and honest it’s hard to imagine it in storyboards or even as a script. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are both elegant and fascinating actors. Their dialogue flows as gracefully as their delicate body movements, both of which are undercut by the unobtrusive and humble camera work that guides the viewer through their story.
The story of Adam and Eve, the story of humanity struggling to survive, has never been so uniquely and simply told as through this pair of captivating lovers. Their creator, Jim Jarmusch, creates an unforgettable story and, cautionary tales aside, a beautiful film.
I personally have never seen a film more deserving of the description comedic, dark, sad, lovely and important. While the setting of the film, a forsaken Detroit and infected human race is hardly memorable, what is unforgettable are the characters’ love of life. Whether it is through their facial expressions after drinking the blood of a human or body language while playing or listening to music, the characters seem to recognize how precious life is. The raw performances in this film deliver this message more beautifully and with more impact than special effects or CGI ever could.