Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let The Right One In

Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in), 2008's best vampire flick, was a work of profound emotion, artistry and beauty. Ravenous for beauty, art, and depth, American audiences embraced the film to the extent that a Hollywood remake was assured. Hollywood doesn't play nice with independent films. Hollywood is about, without putting too fine a point on it, prostitution. Hollywood is a sewer which doesn't care or comprehend what storytelling is or should be, it is about money. Don't get me wrong, I like Hollywood movies as much as the next fellow, but I don't expect depth, tenderness, or relevance from them. This is why I am reluctant to see the remake of Let the Right One In, with its Americanized title, Let Me In. Hollywood is about dualities, right and wrong, black and white, truth and lies. It eschews the shades of gray that might frustrate audiences with their ambiguity and make them reflect on their lives. If they have to think, or feel anything other than excitement, audiences stop buying popcorn. Hollywood films agitate their audiences, they do not make them feel; they stir them up. Hollywood is to film making what the Bush Administration was to war making: the only two emotions they care about are shock and awe.

Let the Right One In is a profoundly better title than Let Me In. It communicates layers of meaning. Let Me In is about teenage love: "stop being so self-absorbed and pay attention to me, you little twit!" Let the Right One In is a weighted phrase that conveys sadness, grief, desire, pain, longing that stretches across generations, hoping for the fleeting embrace of a soul-mate in spite of the defensiveness with which we guard our persons. It has nothing to do with teenage lust or even love for that matter. It is about rebirth, transcendence and communication; of becoming a different being when immersed in the dyad of love. If they didn't even come close with the title, how can the underlying film fare any better?

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