Welcome to the Chopping Block!

The Films In Our Lives: Let the Right One In

In The Films in Our Lives on February 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm

‘Let the Right on In’ (dir. Tomas Alfredson) is a beautiful film. It belongs in the same sentence, if not breath, with both versions of ‘Nosferatu’, not because of its subject matter, but because of its willingness to take that subject and devout the same intelligence and care that Bergman or Wilder paid to lives of their characters.

Simplifying the story: Oskar is a bullied boy with an absent father and a dismissive mother. Eli (Lina Leanderson, an actress who expresses unimaginable knowledge for someone so young) moves into Oskar’s building late one night, with her guardian.

While Eli lives off the blood of others, she befriends Oskar. Why she does this is up to some speculation.

Alfredson, working from a script by John Ajvide Lindqist, spends a lot of time setting up a realistic world for the characters to live in.  The scene where Eli’s guardian, must go into the snow and find a victim for Eli, is a great example. Pay attention to the time we spend watching a man prepare to murder a stranger, and to the care he takes in gathering the blood. Later, notice the  action he takes to protect Eli when he is caught. His love for his ward hints at an unsettling end for Eli and Oskar’s relationship.

A quick note about the adults in the film. They seem distant or monstrous. I think this has more to do with the fact that Alfredson and Lindqvist have told the story from Oskar’s perspective. His relationship with his parents, strained as it is, relates to how we view all the other adults in the film. They are pieces of his parents’ relationship. It is a strategy that works very well.

In the end, the film is about two people who find each other in a lonely world, and forge a bond.

In another context, it’d be very romantic.

In this context, it’s a little terrifying.

‘Let Right One In’ comes out on DVD in early March 2009. Watch it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: