"No man knows till he experiences it, what it is like to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the woman he loves." -Bram Stoker, Dracula
I hate mushy love stories. They remind me of Country music. Simple, not creative and, often unrealistic. Your everyday love story is nothing but the color beige, all smiles and, the missionary position. Fucking boring! But, don't assume I hate all love stories. I just prefer more realistic tales of passion, devotion and, those that exhibit the consequences of love. I am a Romantic; I seek out beauty within the world and, beyond. I long for connections and, am no stranger to heartache. In fact, I use heartache and, pain for inspiration.
Love is deceptive. It doesn't always feel good, it makes you sick and, the pain it causes can feel as if your skin is being ripped away from your body. On the flip, it feels like an exquisite pulse of energy that radiates from your beating heart and, unblocks your sacral chakra. Making the pain and, sickness worth it.
The heart is a fucked up circle but, a circle no less. A sigil, a shape or, the hairstyle of a certain famous blood sucker. Or, the shape of an ass depending on who you are talking to. This monster inspired the others. Yet, he's no monster to me. In fact, just thinking about him gives me, spine-tingling shivers, in a good way. Bela Lugosi portrayal is legend but, its Francis Ford Coppola's, Bram Stoker's Dracula that melts me every single time. The way Dracula (Gary Oldman) says "I've crossed ocean's of time to find you" is so real, so filled with pain and, relief, you can almost feel his performance. I want it to be real. By now, you should know this film and, the story so, no need for a review of the film. This is my homage to the all of the lovers in this tale. However, it is Dracula and Mina who are brought into mind when I am forced to encapsulate what love is.
The entire film is as an orgy of tangled relationships borne of lust and, obligation. Carnal pleasure is the killer yet, the characters can't help themselves and, give into it.
Johnathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) who is Mina's Fiancè. doesn't put up much of a fight against Dracula's Brides as they pleasure him and, succeed in keeping him held captive while Dracula makes way to London in search of Mina. He knows that Mina is his one true love, Elisabeta, reincarnated and, no way was Mr. Harker going to take his rightful Bride's hand. He set out to reclaim her. Lucy (Sadie Frost) and, Mina's best friend, is openly playing the field with three men whom are all friends and, bounces between them until choosing one as her suitor. But, her acceptance of Lord Arthur Holmwood (Cary Elwes) can't keep her from Dracula's lure and, Mina (Winona Ryder) witnesses the suck and romp. Dracula was in the form of a wolf, drinking blood from Lucy's neck. Lucy becomes ill and, in between fits of madness she tries to explain to her Fiancè and, former beau's, that she is slowly changing, dying perhaps and, it is some monster doing it to her. She is seductive until her demise. Even trying to taste Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins). We believe Lucy. We know it is Dracula who has been using Lucy's youthful beauty and, drinking her blood night-after-night all in order to make himself appear youthful and handsome so he is able to entice Mina. He succeeds.
It's all so scandalous!
Revived from Lucy's blood, Dracula day walks into London and, takes in the sights. Then he sees Mina and, before she is swallowed by the crowd, Dracula whispers, "See me." Mina does and, after not being able to resist his charm, Mina gives in and, takes him to the cinema. Dracula introduces himself to Mina as Prince Vlad. Have I mentioned how seductively dangerous he is in this form. It's all in the way he speaks to Mina. It doesn't take long for the two to have a moment where Mina begins to feel the familiarity of this addictive stranger. This is all while Johnathan is now fighting for his life trying to escape Dracula's condemned castle in Transylvania. Mina indulges Prince Vlad and, the two dine, drink, dance and, remember. With the help of Absinthe, Mina is able to uncover visions of her true love from another life and, it would seem Dracula won his bride back. Before, Dracula can decide what to do with his living Bride and, his need to feed on blood in order to live, Johnathan finally reaches Mina and, the two get married immediately. Johnathan knew Mina was in danger or, in my opinion, claimed Mina for himself so Dracula wouldn't get the chance. Mina, didn't protest but, she missed and, was still drawn to her beloved Prince. She writes a letter breaking the news to Vlad. But, was she even given the choice in choosing between Dracula and, Johnathan? Did her intuition lead her to follow through with marrying Johnathan? With his spell broken, Dracula cries tears of blood over losing his Mina again and the mortals involved in her decision will pay.
Making things more confusing, Mina doesn't know that her Prince Vlad is actually Dracula. In his despair, Dracula finishes Lucy off, rather violently and, condemns her to a life where she will love nothing other than blood. Lucy is laid to rest in what would have been her wedding dress. This is so romantic. When we see Lucy again, she is still up for seducing the trio of friends, but not before she kidnapped and, nearly killed a young child. Distracted from the child, Lucy is coaxed back into her coffin by Van Helsing. While he continues his passages, Lucy sits up and spews a copious amount blood from her mouth. This is what horror movies are all about! Van Helsing barely flinches and, Lucy sleeps. Adding to the heartbreak, it is Arthur who must release Lucy from her vampire curse. I questioned Arthur's love for Lucy until this point. I didn't believe he actually loved her. It seemed like he had won a prize and their union was all "in sickness" in stead of health. But, Arthur set her free without much hesitation. You could see he was resolved with the what he knew he had to do. He said good-bye to his love twice. How romantic. Lucy, in her mortal life, certainly would have swooned.
By now, Mina knows that Dracula has murdered Lucy but, not that Prince Vlad is Dracula. In another moving scene, Dracula appears to Mina and, while she offers herself to him, he tell her the truth about who he is. He implores her to "hear me" as he, explains. Seconds after his confession you can feel Mina's heart break as she realizes that this lover from ions ago was truthful in his devotion for her. But, he was also a shape-shifting, deceitful beast who can't help but, kill and, consume blood. He consumes life. The blood is the life.
In her despair, Mina decides the pain from loss is too great and, living the life as a servant of Satan would be better than dealing with anymore death. Dracula wants to oblige, but he hesitates as he gazes into Mina's heart. He didn't want to sentence her to the same fate as his. But, once again, these two are weak for each other and, he gives into her desire to change and be with him forever. He allows Mina to drink his blood. Suddenly, they were interrupted by, Johnathan, Lucy's beaus and, Van Helsing all burst into the room with guns drawn. With her own eyes, Mina witnesses the horrors Dracula is capable of as he shifts into a towering man-shaped bat and, then morphs into hundreds of rats. Mina, realizes that Dracula is quite "unclean" at this point but, she can't help but, begin her transformation. The vampire hunters use Mina's connection to Dracula and, race him back to his castle in Transylvania. Dracula is weak from being away from his land and, lack of blood so, when he arrives he fights the vampires hunters but, his blood is spilled. Mina demands she be left alone with Dracula and she takes him into his castle. Dracula accepts his fate and, implores Mina, Elisabeta, to do the same and, set them both free. Once again, you can feel Dracula's pain and, resolve. Mina impales his heart with his own sword and, then chops off his head. His blood dies within her and, Mina is human once again.
"With him I felt more alive than I ever had." - Mina
Love violently killed them both. Their devotion dissolved the concept of time. Morals and, monogamy were blurred as Mina and, Lucy were seduced by immortal love. The love Dracula had for Elisabeta charged his existence as a monster over the centuries. He left a splattered and, uneven trail of blood in his wake. He entertained himself and defiled bodies to endure and self-loathe. Dracula's love for Mina is colossal, dwarfing Mina's infantile proclivity. But, her innocence was profound enough to light the flame of passion between them. Elisabeta's couldn't live without her Dracula so she ended the pain before it had time to set in. Before she found out that he was still alive. Love waged a bet between the pair.
I hope this makes sense and, explains why I love Dracula and, Mina's tragic story. When I visualize what passion and, love looks like, I picture Dracula and Mina. The couple that defines sacrifice and, pain just to luxuriate in each other. Time didn't exist when they were together nor, did the world outside. The pair bled on behalf of the other. The ultimate sacrifice. I often wonder if we could truly endure love like this. Or do we and, just don't realize it until it's too late. Love is taken for granted and, it doesn't make for a good stories until it turns tragic. There is the misfortune and, the beauty of this deep affection. Love is light and, darkness. It is ecstasy and, infernal suffering. Regardless, love is worth tasting once in every lifetime.