Analysis of Interview with a Vampire
The film, Interview with a Vampire (1994), presents a thoughtful examination of the vampire myth. This paper seeks to describe the juxtaposition of the idea of mortality presented in the film, providing an irrefutable conclusion on this topic. Furthermore, it presents the differences in vampire characteristics between Interview with a Vampire (1994) and other fictional work containing vampires. This establishes the underlying reason for the film’s great influence on its audience. Additionally, the paper explains how Lestat configures to the traditional depiction of vampires while louis differs from it and the importance of this difference in character. Finally, it presents how Claudia’s character adds to the movie’s depiction of vampires and the movie’s theme.
Neil Jordan’s Interview with a Vampire (1994) presents an intriguing juxtaposition of the idea of mortality. For millennia, humans have been beguiled by the idea of quelling death (Lucke, & Hall, 2005). They hold dear the prospect of immortality as a way to hold on to the only existence they have known all their life. Louis presents a contradictory view of immortality. Louis, in a bid to escape the anguish of being widowed, consciously enters into the dark vampire life where he obtains the “Dark Gift”, the gift of immortality. Instead of finding paradise, he lands in another hell where he is forced to kill to survive yet he still values human life. Regret grips him every time he takes a life in order to survive. As Louis soon finds out, immortality is just as grim as life itself. He and Lestat live in a constant fright of annihilation by the slaves at Pointe du Lac. Furthermore, he feels purposeless and seeks a sage to guide him on the meaning of his nature but his quest leaves him answerless. As Chan (2009) explains, Louis realizes that the escape of death is no solution if a life defined by goodness, purity, love, righteousness, beauty and godliness cannot be attained. Thus, Interview with a Vampire (1994) tactfully uses human desires of Louis to present an intriguing juxtaposition of the idea of mortality.
A striking difference exists between the main characteristics of a vampire as presented in
Interview with a Vampire (1994) and other books and movies about vampires. Traditionally, female vampires are emotional beings while male vampires are less emotional figures with full control of their emotions and vampiric identity, for example, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Schumann, 2017). However, Interview with a Vampire (1994) takes a different path with a reversed emotional gender role and the confidence of vampiric identity. Louis, a male vampire, is more emotional than the female vampires, feeling regret for the very actions that sustain his life. Furthermore, he faces a great struggle accepting his vampiric identity. The movie also breaks the vampire physical appearance norm with characters able to withstand exposure to sun and who enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror. The characters are beautiful, with a white and highly reflective skin (unlike the uncanny, dreadful Dracula). They easily blend into the society. Finally, the movie characters present intentions and virtues that contrast other fiction about vampires. Louis values human life and regrets killing to survive, which counters the vampiric intention of preying on humans. He, unlike other fictional stories, has the virtue of humanity and morality. This twist in vampire characteristics gives the film a unique influence on its audience who are more able to identify with the characters. Hence, it is evidently clear that Interview with a Vampire (1994) takes a major detour from other fictions’ presentation of the main characteristics of a vampire.
Lestat greatly configures to the traditional portrayal of the vampire while Louis differs from it. Lestat portrays a deep sense of control and contentment in his vampiric identity. He contests Louis’ sense of humanity and morality challenging him to give in to his vampiric instincts. Louis, on the other hand, differs from the conventional vampire. He holds humanity and morality dear to him choosing not to kill humans, but rather kill only small animals. Whenever, he gives in to his vampiric urges, he is consumed by regret, an unfamiliar trend for vampires. Moreover, Lestat does not think there is a purpose for the existence of vampires other than to devour humans. For instance, he argues that vampires were simply there and there was no why. Louis, however, differs with this intellectual tradition. He believes there is a reason for his existence and he seeks this purpose. This contradiction in character between Lestat and Louis enriches the film’s theme. Hence, Lestat is greatly similar to the traditional portrayal of the vampire while Louis differs from it.
Claudia’s character richly adds to the film’s depiction of vampires. The film gives the depiction of vampires a twist. It presents them as emotional creatures looking for purpose in life, just like all other human beings. Claudia’s great capacity for feeling and loving Louis as her companion greatly adds to this description. Furthermore, she also faces uncertainty in her life missing several life opportunities as she never experiences life as a grown woman. Her inquisitive nature leads her to join Louis and head to Europe to understand the origin of vampires. This interestingly adds to the film’s depiction of vampires and the movie’s theme. Hence, Claudia’s character richly adds to the film’s depiction of vampires.
In summary, Interview with a Vampire (1994) presents an intriguing juxtaposition of the idea of mortality and an undeniable conclusion on the matter. It greatly differs from other fictional work in its presentation of the vampire characteristics, which greatly influences its audience. Lestat greatly configures to the traditional portrayal of the vampire while Louis differs from it, with this difference greatly enriching the film’s theme. Claudia’s character powerfully adds to the film’s depiction of movies and the theme.
Chan, B., S. (2009). Interview with a Vampire – what is immortality? Retrieved from https://brianseechan.com/2009/12/15/interview-with-a-vampire-what-is-immortality/ on May 26, 2020.
Lucke, J. C., & Hall, W. (2005). Who wants to live forever? EMBO reports, 6(2), 98–102. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.embor.7400339
Schumann, N. (2017). Vampiric Emotion and Identity in Dracula and Interview with the Vampire. In Dracula (pp. 213-226). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.