Friday, January 11, 2013

The Hunger

#7 - The Hunger

SUMMARY (spoilers in Summary and Review)

A vampire couple living in New York in the 1980’s find themselves living very comfortably in a high-rise apartment, with lots of money to spare, prowling the nightlife and preying on the weak in darkened corners of bars and clubs.  But then one of them, the man, begins to age at an alarming rate, while the woman does not…and it seems that she has a secret that she will not share with him.  Desperate to find out what’s wrong with him, he goes to a doctor who ends up being pulled into their twisted world, and soon will be extended the opportunity to join them.  The question is, will she take it?


Yes, vampire movies are so over, but despair not…for a realistic approach, as well as a visceral and raw approach to these creatures of the night, The Hunger does not lack in the least.  Made in 1983, starring David Bowie, Catharine Deneuve, and Susan Sarandon, this particular vampire story is raw, primal, and also scary in its portrayal of the dark world of these supernatural creatures.  However, a WARNING! The movie is graphic (nudity, blood, violence) and extremely dark...but if you don't mind, then forward we go.

The casting of David Bowie in the role for this movie was particularly genius, in my opinion, as he is one of those people who seems to not truly be of the normal, mortal role.  In a few other movies he has also been given roles of characters that are not human, though they look to be.  The angles of his face and the elegance of the way he moves and speaks combined together with the role of playing the vampire is very well thought out. 


Made in the eighties, the music ranges from the typical synth and techno, all the way to wonderfully played classical pieces, including the great classic Suite #1 for Solo Cello in G-Major, Prelidium (Excerpt, First Movement).  Catharine Deneuve is fantastic as the sadistic vampire who secretly takes pleasure out of seeing her lover panic and age before her eyes.  When Bowie’s character goes to the doctor and meets Sarandon’s character, he is fighting the urge to kill out in broad daylight, and Bowie does a marvelous job in portraying the internal and external struggle that he is going through.  My favorite line in the movie is when he first realizes what is happening to him, and he yells out… “What am I going to do?!”, but receives only silence as his answer. 


In a macabre twist near the end of this movie, there is an explicit love scene between Deneuve and Sarandon that is not really necessary for the movie, but it does a little in helping to explain how Sarandon’s character is pulled into the darkness of that particular world.  The true twist at the end of the movie, however, is one that I cannot put here as it would truly ruin the climactic and jarring ending of the movie.

 This movie is a piece of art, though in a very dark way, and I think it is one of the most accurate films about vampires in terms of atmosphere and seduction.  There’s a constant bittersweet feel to the characters that Bowie and Deneuve portray; immortality, but no true happiness, only fleeting pleasure that never lasts.


#6 - Equilibrium


SUMMARY (spoilers in Summary and Review)

 In a future where all emotion is suppressed and considered to be the cause of every bad thing that’s happened in the world’s history, a law man who is dedicated to serving this cause finds himself mixed up in a plot to destroy the drug that’s keeping everyone in check.  The question is will he continue to fight for what he thinks to be right?  Or will he fight for the right to be free to feel once more?


This is one of those all-star cast movies that slipped through the cracks and somehow only got one star out of four.  Starring Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs, Emily Watson, and William Fichtner, it’s a movie that is reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, but with a dangerous twist.  Instead of Big Brother controlling you…you are controlling you, with a drug called Prozium that suppresses any and all emotion.  Emotion is outlawed, and feeling anything at all will, at the very least, land you in prison for what are called sense crimes.  In the very beginning, his partner is arrested for breaking this law simply by reading a book.

Recently, I watched this movie for the second time and paid closer attention to the music and the atmosphere of the movie, as well as the acting, and I was amazed by the performance given by Christian Bale in his character of John Preston.  In this role, Bale has to portray a man with no emotion slowly giving into emotion and trying to deal with it, and he does a beautiful job at doing so.  In one particularly intense scene, Preston and his new partner find a pack of dogs behind a building and his partner gives the order to kill them, and with each shot that is fired, Preston (Bale) twitches just slightly, but it’s enough of a reaction to have us reacting right along with him, as well as seeing the contrast with his unresponsive partner.  It gives us a reference for the true horror that is going on in our world deprived of all emotion.
This movie is one of those side movies that is made for those kind of people who like to think the dangerous thoughts about the direction that our society is heading towards.  The writers for this movie took a simple plotline and made it psychologically complex, as well as making us look to the future not necessarily with hope, but with utter fear.

Done in monochromatic shades throughout, the colors do not change until we arrive at the end of the movie and come to the climactic ending scene; the fight in the inner chambers of the government.  Beautiful, amazing, and stunning, Bale was perfect for his role and truly made this movie an artwork.

I would recommend it, and say to those reviewers who only gave it one out of four stars, that they do not know what they’re talking about… it got four out of four in my book!