Interview with the Vampire is a fantasy film that was released in 1994 and based on the novel of the same name by Anne Rice. The screenplay for this film was also written by Anne Rice. The film is rated 18 due to bad language, moderate sex/ nudity and strong bloody violence and it has a run time of 122 minutes.
In San Francisco, Daniel Malloy, a reporter, sits down to interview a man names Louis. Louis claims that he is a vampire and begins to tell Daniel how he became a vampire and how he got to where he is today.
The story then goes back to 1871 where Louis lives in Louisiana, aged 24. Although quite a wealthy plantation owner, he is struggling to cope with the death of his wife and child and he decides that he no longer wants to live. The vampire Lestat sees how sad and pathetic Louis is and offers him the chance to choose between life and death although both options turn out to be death in a way. Even though Louis chooses to become a vampire, he still has his morality and cannot bring himself to feed on humans.
Louis is tormented with what he has become and doesn't know how to live with himself or Lestat as they have completely opposite views on life. He begins to tell Daniel just how hard life as a vampire can be.
What I thought
Brad Pitt plays Louis and after reading the book, I think he was the perfect choice. Even though his performance is quiet and brooding most of the time, you can easily see the pain and torment that Louis experiences and I ended up really feeling for his character because of what he had to deal with.
Tom Cruise was a big surprise as Lestat. Many people, Anne Rice included had doubts about his ability to perform as such an evil and mysterious character but the risk with him definitely paid off. Cruise was charismatic and sleazy but charming, dark and scary at the same time. Interview with the Vampire was a film that showed just how versatile an actor he is.
There are some minor differences from the book and while these things normally really annoy me, I don't think they were don't badly this time. One of the most notable changes is in Claudia, the young vampire played by Kirsten Dunst. In the book, she is about 5 years old but in the film version, she is around 10 to 11. I understand that for a character as complex as Claudia that a child so young could not have played her well at all or understood anything about the character. While every other cast member were fantastic, Dunst clearly outshone them all. She played the part with such maturity and passion that it is hard to believe that she was just 11 at the time. I think that this has been her best film ever and unfortunately, nothing else she has done can compare to this.
Character development is something that Anne Rice took very seriously. Each main character goes through so many changes, whether it be physical, biological or mental. Neither Lestat, Louis or Claudia stay the same throughout (even though their physical appearance does after a while) and some of the changes they experience are life altering for all three of them.
The difference in locations were so perfectly done. Every little detail seems to have been paid attention to and whether in Louisiana or Paris, it really felt like you was there. As the mood changes quite a lot throughout the film, the atmosphere changes too. It is quite easy to distinguish times of happiness from times of pain and suffering and this had a lot to do with where the characters were and how lighting and effects were used. Even though the story is dark and mysterious, it is also visually beautiful. Each scene is extremely atmospheric which adds to the eerie feel that you are supposed to get.
The story itself is exciting and thrilling throughout. The changes of location add to the excitement levels as you never really know what is going to happen or what surprises await. As I hadn't read the book when I saw this film, I didn't see a fair amount of the story before it happened and I loved each shock as it came.
A classic vampire film and highly recommended.