Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Ford Coppola, 1992): USA

Reviewed by Matheus Clorado.

Image result for bram stoker's draculaThe highly-praised filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s version of literary secular Bram Stoker’s Dracula couldn’t be any less than his previous achievements. The Godfather creator handled a production unlike any other in this matter that was able to collect three Academy Awards after completion (Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Design).

The feature feeds on the historical events of the widely known count Dracula, transposing them to a screen filled with color, outstanding sets, transcendental costumes, skillful editing and brilliant performances including those of Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins and Winona Ryder – a few members of the cast.

The director cited F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu as his best reference outside the world of literature, and that is clearly noticeable to anyone who has seen the 1922 black and white film prior or after this 1992 feature. What the seventy years that separate those two incredible masterpieces does is to enable the viewer with a richer and immersive experience of this historical tale.

It might come out shocking to realize there is more to it than the supernatural character imprinted on pop culture. Hopkins’ Van Helsing, for instance, plays a major role on connecting the fantastical realm with the reasonable science-driven universe. The ladies in this film either seek true love or run from loneliness, a constant theme also shared by Dracula himself. The promise of eternal life turns painful and unlike in other features, it is not worshiped here. The realism and human essence of each scene creates more empathetic subjects to the point where there is no hero to root for nor a villain to hate, as none of those feelings are absolute.

Coppola pulls the viewer into a movie able to evoke the contrast and fluidity of power and sacrifice through every shade of clothing, every scene and every line. Amidst loving and hating, it’s certain to be caught in the painful and euphoric moments delivered by this magnificent cinematic ride.

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