Much to the dismay to, it seems, all those around me, I have never been an Anne Rice fan. I’ve attempted to read three novels from her Vampire Chronicles and haven’t managed to finish any of them.
Interview With the Vampire
Directors: Neil Jordan
Producers: Stephen Wooley, David Geffen
Writers: Anne Rice
Features: Behind the scenes documentary In the Shadow of the Vampire All new interviews with the Film's Stars and Creators Feature-Length Audio Commentary by Director Neil Jordan All new introduciton by Anne Rice, Neil Jordan and Antonio Banderas
Louis - Brad Pitt
Lestat - Tom Cruise
Armand - Antonio Banderas
Claudia - Kirsten Dunst
Much to the dismay to, it seems, all those around me, I have never been an Anne Rice fan. I've attempted to read three novels from her Vampire Chronicles and haven't managed to finish any of them. So right off the bat, you might want to move to someone else's review.
With that said, I loved this movie. I thought it was lush, passionate, and incredibly well played. Perhaps I'm a very visual person (something belied by the sheer quantity of books I do own), but I considered this movie to achieve what the book did not, sucking the viewer into another world which so closely resembles this but, yet still a little off kilter. Could it have been better? Of course. There's a huge world there that is still undiscovered – and IS NOT discovered by the current release of "Queen of the Damned."
In watching the film again for this review after such a long period, I was even more enamored of the film. Antonio Banderas practically sizzled on screen, creating I believe the strongest foundation for his following success in Hollywood. Brad Pitt epitomized my mental image of Louis. Kirsten Dunst shined in a roll much more mature than her actual age at the time. And yes, I must not that Tom Cruise turned in a performance which was actually a stretch for him, and he did with what seemed like an actor's passion.
DVD Features Review:
I believe that the actor's passion was shared by several of the cast, since during the special features, many interviews revealed the actors in their gothic best. Cruise sported a goatee and slicked hair while Pitt went for the shaggy, unkempt look. Dunst's interview showed an older actress, and seemed the farthest removed from the actual release of the film. There were candid and disturbingly revealing interviews with other cast members including Banderas and Stephen Rea, which somewhat shattered the mystique of their characters in the film.
The most surprising feature of this DVD was that the special features seemed to be a complete and total vindication of the choice of Tom Cruise as Lestate. Considering that Louis was the main character of the novel and this film, one would have thought that the film was a screen portrayal of "The Vampire Lestat." Cruise has the longest interviews of all the cast members, and Jordan and Rice go to great lengths to praise his portrayal of Lestat in this film, even suggesting that he brought an unexpected depth to the role. OK, I get the point. You wanted him, you got him, and we should all suck it up. Let's move on. AND, methinks that Rice doth protest too much.
My only personal request for this DVD would have been Anne Rice’s discussion on why she chose to end the film such as she did. Considering how controversially the ending was received by the most die-hard Chronicle fans, it would have been nice to hear Rice even say something as mundane as, "The test audience really wanted him back, so we rewrote the script." Please Ms. Rice, tell us the truth…