Nordic Bleakness with an Uplifting Twist
stephskie67 - wrote on 03/25/13
Ethereal, bleak, enchanting, understated, shocking, bloody, romantic and beautifully filmed, Let the Right One in is all that a great Swedish film should be. Kare Hedebrant who plays Oskar is mesmerising; a gentle, innocent, 'different' child, as white as the perpetual snow that covers the landscape throughout this movie. Wild horses wouldn't normally drag me to watch a 'vampire movie' and yet the vampire theme in LTROI is almost peripheral to the central themes of loneliness, isolation, bullying and the gentle (well, sometimes brutal) unfolding of first love. The adult characters, although numerous, often belligerent or sometimes just plain bizarre, fade like shadows into the background, so strong is the presence of Oskar, Eli (played by Linda Leandersson), and their brutish peers. Like a well written book, there is little self pity shown by Oskar and Eli, despite their often being neglected, ignored, or bullied; they simply 'survive' in their harshly lonely world and gravitate towards each other, outcasts both. The only thing that I feel slightly mars the intelligent sensitivity of LTROI, is one too many dismembered body parts; we got it the first time and the second time and after that became overkill (no pun intended) and somewhat spoilt an otherwise beautifully conceived film. Overall, however, I found LTROI to be a haunting juxtaposition of fear and hope - Nordic bleakness with an uplifting twist and for those reasons I thoroughly recommend it.