"Who will take care of me my love, my dark angel, when you are gone?"
I just recently got around to watching Interview with the Vampire, twenty years after Neil Jordan directed this successful film, and I have to admit the recent overload of vampire films and novels over the past decade did affect my viewing since most of the innovative elements that Anne Rice introduced here I have seen in later films and TV series (like True Blood). I'm sure many of these films were inspired by some of Rice's original ideas which made this movie stand out above prior vampire films. Unfortunately I'm giving this a lower rating because I am a bit tired of these films and in my opinion the best vampire film continues to be Let the Right One In (which managed to stay low key unlike this epic story). Rice's story is imaginative and Jordan's direction visionary, thus creating a unique and dark vampire drama with some strong performances. The film did drag at times and it is a bit too long but several scenes were intense and skillfully delivered. If you are a fan of vampire films or of Anne Rice's work then you will probably enjoy this much more than I did because it is dark and gothic, but it does have its weaknesses and the ending is a bit off note.
As the title suggests, the story is told in the form of an interview as a journalist named Daniel (Christian Slater) encounters a 200 year old vampire named Louis (Brad Pitt). His story begins in 18th century New Orleans after having lost his wife when he was 24. Deciding he didn't want to live any longer, Louis set out to destroy his life picking fights at local bars. One night while doing this he catches the attention of a vampire named Lestat (Tom Cruise) who gives him the opportunity to become like him. Louis accepts and becomes Lestat's apprentice, however he isn't satisfied with his new life as a vampire and refuses to kill humans. Louis hates who he has become, but his life changes when Lestat turns a little girl named Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) into a vampire and together they form a family. Louis continues to narrate his story through two centuries as they encounter troubles and betrayals along the way.
Tom Cruise is a huge action star and at times it's difficult to separate him from his characters, but surprisingly he lost himself in the role of Lestat and gives a convincing performance as a blood lusting vampire. Brad Pitt despite not losing himself in the role as well as Cruise does still delivers a believable lead performance. The real surprise for me however was the young Kirsten Dunst who gives the best performance of the film. Once her character is introduced the story really picks up and it becomes engaging. In my opinion the interview scenes didn't work too well; I would have preferred if Louis simply narrated his story directly to us considering Slater's character doesn't really do much as an interviewer. Despite some flaws in the story, the film does look good and the effects are also done well. Jordan and Rice were able to create a unique vampire film that stood out from the rest and that is the reason why 20 years later it is still talked about and referred too.