- 1 hr 58 min
Byzantium is a 2012 British thriller film directed by Neil Jordan and starring Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, and Sam Riley. The story revolves around two female vampires, Clara and Eleanor, who have been on the run for centuries from a mysterious organization known as the Brotherhood. The film begins with Clara and Eleanor arriving in a small seaside town, where Clara begins to work as a prostitute and Eleanor enrolls in the local school. Despite their efforts to keep a low profile, their arrival in town attracts the attention of a young man named Frank, who becomes infatuated with Eleanor.
As the story unfolds, we learn about Clara and Eleanor's history as vampires and the traumatic events that led them to flee from the Brotherhood. We also meet a number of other characters, including a dying man named Noel who becomes obsessed with Clara and a mysterious figure named Ruthven who is also hunting the vampires.
Throughout the movie, we see flashbacks to various time periods, including the 18th century when Clara and Eleanor were turned into vampires, and the present day as they try to avoid the Brotherhood's wrath. The flashbacks are beautifully shot and give us a sense of the long, lonely lives that Clara and Eleanor have led.
Saoirse Ronan gives a strong performance as Eleanor, the more sympathetic of the two vampires. She is torn between her love for Frank and her desire to protect Clara and keep their secret safe. Gemma Arterton is equally impressive as Clara, the more ruthless and practical of the two. Despite her often cruel actions, we get a sense of the deep love she has for Eleanor and the lengths she is willing to go to protect her.
The cinematography is one of the film's strongest elements. The seaside town is beautifully shot and provides a striking contrast to the dark, brooding flashbacks. The film also uses color in interesting ways, with certain scenes bathed in a red glow to signify danger or passion.
The score by Javier Navarrete is haunting and beautiful, providing a sense of melancholy throughout the movie. The use of classical music in certain scenes gives the film an almost operatic quality.
Byzantium is a slow-burning thriller that rewards patient viewers. While there are some gory moments, the film is more interested in exploring the emotional lives of its characters than in providing cheap thrills. The relationship between Clara and Eleanor is at the heart of the movie, and it is both complex and moving.
Overall, Byzantium is a visually stunning and emotionally powerful film that explores the dark and lonely lives of two female vampires. Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton give powerful performances, and the film is beautifully shot and scored. It is a must-see for fans of vampire films who are looking for something a little different.
Byzantium is a 2013 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 66.