F**k Twilight! Now that I have that out of the way, Let the Right One In is probably the best film I’ve seen this year. A subtle, elegant and evocative movie is a rarity, let alone one in the WTF Swedish romantic vampire genre. Plus any pic that can keep me enraptured on my iPod Touch on a crowded flight to nowhere is doing something right. LTROI worked on so many levels – thematic, allegorical, character study, sexually-ambiguous love – but I won’t muddy/bloody the waters with a review. I think that the true measure of a great film is how it challenges me to up my own game. Wanna know how this one did? Read on.
Simplicity. It’s one of the hardest things for me/us to achieve in a screenplay. LTROI was self-contained and concise, yet dense with meaning. Here’s my theory as to why. The book’s author was the screen writer and the film’s director, the editor. It feels like their level of investment and understanding of the characters, allowed them to construct a compelling, focused story. Obviously, being talented and dedicated was key, but I think their Swedish background didn’t hurt.
When I was in Stockholm I was struck by two things. First, I had no idea how deeply design philosophy permeated Swedish culture. Society itself seem to reflect a clean, purposeful aesthetic in a way I had never experienced. Second, I was in a reggae club listening to a surprisingly good Swede reggae band. There were about ten other guys on the dance floor, but something felt wrong. It was then I noticed I was, by far, the shortest guy there…and I’m 6’2″. Point being, Swedish lads are strapping (which has little to do with screenwriting, but consider this a travel tip for all those into that sorta thing).
PS Here’s a treat for all you LTROI fans who gutted through this. That’s right, who’s a good boy/girl? You are!