What can I say about this film? It’s as close to perfect as any film I’ve seen, from any genre. The relationship between Eli and Oskar is so beautiful, so pure. So many of us can relate to Oskar’s story. To watch it unfold feels personal and painful, possibly because it taps into so many of our own experiences from childhood, when we felt powerless, alone, and misunderstood.
Oskar and Eli meet at the perfect moment. Both have been alienated by their circumstances, and both desperately desire connection and love. The fact that Eli happens to be a vampire is somewhat moot (until the end of the film, of course). It’s what happens because she’s a vampire that is so important to their connection.
The book that the film was based is also quite good, and, as is typically the case, goes much deeper into each characters’ backstory. We learn so much more about Eli’s origins (e.g. Eli is actually a boy that was castrated, which the film hints at in one particular scene), as well as many other characters (such as Håkan, Eli’s caretaker, who was a pedophile that created a sort of symbiotic relationship with Eli where he would find blood for her and she would… ?).
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this film (and forced others to watch it with me), and save for the cat attack scene (which some say was intentionally humorous, but feels like too much of a momentary shift in tone to me), it’s just as beautiful and impactful today as the day it was released. Strong recommend.