For those who have not seen this movie and don’t want it spoiled, stop reading now. Otherwise, for those who are interested in finding out whether or not this movie is worth watching, read on.
From the trailer, this movie had so much potential. That is not to say that this was a bad movie in anyway, only that so much more could have been explored, particularly beyond the romance. Dracula is a classic and it was praised particularly for the monster Dracula was. He was remorseless, though a great lover. So many contemporary adaptations of Dracula have over-romanticized him and though I have not been able to get through the entire book myself, it frustrates me that such a great piece of literature is reduced to romance. Now, I don’t have a problem with romance, except for maybe Jane Austen, but that has less to do with her writing style and more to do with the stupidity of girls not noticing when a guy has a crush on them and just being oblivious. But this movie’s take on Dracula was a little bit different…a refreshing sort of different. It was a mix of fact and fiction and as a writing tip: to make a story believable, mix fact with fiction. It follows the story of Vlad the Impaler, the man often credited as being the real life Dracula. Much of Vlad’s history in the movie is based on facts, while the his future is based on Bram Stoker’s novel and the present? Well, that’s all made up. That’s the part that’s untold.
One thing I loved about this retelling of Dracula is it humanized him. So many times we’ve heard stories of the monster he was, but we don’t know how or why he became that monster. This movie does that. There’s something about a man who is willing to do anything, give up anything and everything and become anything for the sake of his family. There is a sense of nobility beneath that desperation.
The other thing? Fight scenes. I love one with physical combat and swords. It is better than any fight fought with guns. And the battles weren’t bad.
The friend I went with commented how so many movies released today end with the potential for a sequel. And it’s so true. Strangely enough, the way that this movie ended was essentially how Dracula the T.V. series had begun. I took me a second, but when she introduced herself as Mina at the end I almost screamed. Yes, it could turn into a romance, as much as I hate that, but they were a good couple.
I would rate this movie about 6.5/10 because I would have liked a further elaboration of Vlad’s familial life and his interactions with his friends and advisors. I would have liked to have learned more about the man behind the monster. Instead, we were “forced” to accept the story of “he did this for his family but we’re not gonna tell you much about them.”