I am having some difficulty in deciding what to say about this film. It is billed as one of the best vampire movies ever, and it was recommended to me some time ago. I requested it several months ago from the library, but the waiting list was so long that I just finally received it.
There is definitely a lot about this film that is interesting: the location, the cultural zeitgeist, the language, the chance to peer into another culture. But I would not say that it is interesting because it is a vampire film, but rather in spite of it.
The movie is about a rather unremarkable boy named Oskar, who lives in an unremarkable and boring town, whose new 12-year-old neighbor Eli just so happens to be a vampire. That is essentially what the movie is about. Of course, the fact that Eli is a vampire does add to the general interest of the film, but that fact could have been omitted and it still would have been a good story.
I want to be brief, so let me just list some of the things I liked it about it:
1. This is the first Swedish film I have ever seen, and I’ve seen movies from all over the world. It was interesting to see the clothing, interiors, social interactions, the architecture, etc.
2. It was very slow paced, but I am highly tolerant of slow-paced movies, and it was very fitting for this film. It was so un-hollywoodish. There was a lot of darkness (it was winter time, so the days were short and dim), a lot silence, very little activity among the people (who were very reserved), and very low-key. Quite different from many of the Latin films I’ve seen, for example.
3. It was a very human story. Oskar was really a sweet, innocent, and likable kid, and so was Eli.
4. The film was not gratuitous in its use of violence, special effects, or gore. Most of it was pretty understated.
5. Of course, Oskar and Eli are the classic outsider heroes, which is very cliché, but it is essential to the story line.
6. Watching it you also feel that if it were true that vampires really existed in our world, this is what they would be like.
I don’t know—I’m writing this in a bit of a hurry and I don’t feel like I am saying fully what I think and feel about the film. This is not my best review, but I do recommend it, anyhow. Even if vampires aren’t your cup of tea, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this movie.
Okay, I've requested these three through interlibrary loan. Not hopeful about Just Another Love Story though, as only two libraries in the system have it. That usually means I can't get it. The greater the number of libraries, the easier it is to get. Oddly, it is not listed as being availble on DVD, only VHS. Luckily I still have my VHS player.