Finally watched Byzantium last night, after cooking vegetable fried rice !! I must admit despite the brutality style of killing/murder in the duration of the film, I quite enjoyed it. Some said the story was hardly interesting (as there are no excitement), but I enjoy it as it was like mystery novels you gotta keep flipping pages… I like Saoirse’s character, filled with history and want to write to let the world know her story. However I have issue with the boy she falls in love, especially when he betrayed her trust by passing her story to the tutors and cause troubles for her and her mum (Gemma Arterton).
Gemma Arterton reminded me of “Mona Lisa” (N.J.s previous film I watched) – they both have been working as sex worker for sometime, both were strong and able to react quickly to situations. However I like Arterton’s character more because of her clean-cut and resourceful characteristics , for example she was able to turn a run-down hotel into a brothel. Also the times when she was able to get up and go with work, such as the time as soon as she arrived the town she began working her way to money as a street sex worker. Sex Work in my eyes through this film was like vampires, both were so against the law (morality more like) yet shared such strong aura for attractions and a deep sense of history.
One of the things I liked and noticed was Neil Jordan’s choice of location, in both “Byzantium” and “Mona Lisa” many events happened at seaside town (my guess was on Brighton). Seaside towns back in the post-world-wars were the most popular choices of working class families for summer holidays, they eventually gone into ruins (part from Scarbrough and possibly Whitby) states when airline travel become accessible. The decadance suit the vampire’s “long histories” well, for their symbolism of memories and past happiness…
One of the most visible thing was the brotherhood – in the film the entitlement of becoming a vampire was just like selecting a barrister: rich, male and powerful. G.A.’s character broke all three entitlements: women, poor, with no powerful family (sex worker too). Yet her seizing chances gave her eternal life and S.R.’s character. While she was able to liberate (well in theory) women to fight for her own life, the brotherhood claimed she has to be killed in the film, the pursuit equals the relentness fight women have to take, to ensure their rights not being taken away.
So yes, overall it was a nice film, actually I need to re-watch “Interview with the Vampire” some point.