Love Never Dies
“I have crossed oceans of time to find you.”
Now that’s a man in love!! Since it’s time for Valentine’s Day, I decided it was a good time to watch a love story. So of course, I chose the 1992 version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. On its face, it’s a horror story about a bloodthirsty vampire. But it’s also a love story. It’s the story of soulmates and one man who will do anything to be with the woman he loves.
In the 1400s, Dracula goes to war to protect his kingdom from invasion by the Turks. Dracula’s army wins, and in revenge, the Turks sent a letter to his wife Elisabeta telling her that he was dead. Broken-hearted, she throws herself out a window. Dracula arrives to find her lying in front of the church’s altar. The bishop tells him that her soul is damned because she committed suicide. (Which was kind of fucked up on the bishop’s part!)
Dracula is furious that God could let that happen to his true love. He goes on a rampage and renounces God. He smashes things in the church, grabs his sword, and stabs the cross on the altar. The cross starts bleeding. He uses a chalice to collect the blood. As he drinks it he says that he will be reborn after death with all the powers of darkness at his disposal.
Centuries later, Jonathan Harker (Played by Keanu Reeves rocking a bad English accent) is sent from England to help Dracula finalize purchasing a house in England. As he sets up to work he puts out a picture of his fiance Mina. Dracula is stunned to see that she looks exactly like Elisabeta!
Dracula (played by the amazing Gary Oldman) travels to England intent on finding Mina. He believes that she is Elisabeta reincarnated and is obsessed with making her remember. He’ll stop at nothing to have his beloved Elisabeta back. He’s determined to make her remember who she is.
The Count wants Mina to remember the past and fall in love with him. He believes that if she remembers who she used to be, they will be together again. Oldman puts all his sexy into this role. By the time Mina sees him, he’s all young, long-hair, and oh so fucking dapper! That suit and top coat. Those little sunglasses. And that smoldering stare! Who wouldn’t stop and do a double-take? (Am I drooling on my keyboard? I can neither confirm nor deny it!) Then he starts with his slow seduction.
Oldman’s Dracula shows the depth of his love for Elisabeta. At a time when people were deeply religious, he didn’t hesitate to turn his back on the church after his loss. When he sees Mina’s picture he tells Harker about his wife and you can see the agony in his eyes. He’s been haunted by his heartache for centuries. He immediately locks Jonathan up, hops into a box, and ships himself to America.
For centuries, he’s been kind of living his best vampire life. He lives in a gorgeous (but filthy) Gothic castle. And he can hypnotize people to do his bidding. He also has a room of sexy concubines. He seems to have everything a vampire could possibly want. Yet he left it behind to find his true love.
His pursuit of Mina isn’t to possess her, it’s to win back his love. His seduction of Mina is long and slow. He befriends her and makes her want to spend time with him. Mina feels inexplicably drawn to him. All she knows is that even though she’s engaged to Jonathan Harker, she’s having a hard time fighting the growing pull to her new friend.
Dracula fights his hunger and vampiric nature around Mina. When Mina finds him looking kind of like a werewolf and going to town on her best friend Lucy, he uses his vampire mojo so she can’t see him (I guess that’s the vampire version of “Wasn’t me”) and all a confused Mina sees is Lucy getting off in a garden all by herself. Apparently, vampires need more than just blood.
Mina slowly starts to recover Elisabeta’s memories and her love for the Count takes over. They end up in a hot make-out session. He loves her so much that he fights his desire to turn her. But she wants to be with me. She asks him to “Take me away from all this death.” He can’t resist her teary eyes and look of love, so he goes in for a drink. And then she does the same. Eternal vampire bond anyone?
So yes, Dracula is a love story. Soulmates that find each other centuries later. It’s a passion so deep that it transcends time. A man determined to be with the woman he loves, and a woman that will do anything to protect him. No matter what it costs. Like the tagline says – love never dies.