Sunday, November 16, 2008

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN : DID ELI MANIPULATE OSKAR?

oh those puppy dog eyes.

International art house sensation Let The Right One In is probably playing in most major U.S. cities at the moment. And while the question I've posed in the title may alienate viewers who have yet to see the film, I can wait no longer in seeing if anyone else feels the same way I do.

I first saw Let The Right One In smack dab in the middle of a festival, so my experience was filtered through the condition of cabin fever mush brain. Because of that, I wanted to put fresh eyes on it when it came around on its regular run. Not much changed, really. I still think the film is average-to-good, but not great, nor the genre masterpiece some have claimed it to be. (I just gotta get this out of my system again... the cats?!? WTF is up with the cats!?!). However, I do credit Tomas Alfredson for the job he did in maintaining a unique combination of mood, pacing, and entertainment over Let The Right One In's one hundred fourteen minutes.

But something appeared clear to me the second time around, and that was the nasty manipulation of 12-year-old Oskar by his 12-year-old ("more or less") girlfriend/BFF Eli. Eli's been stunted at the age of twelve for centuries and "lives on blood", yet we're led to believe that she suffers ethical dilemmas over the methods used to obtain said blood. Because she prefers not to kill, Eli travels with a fortysomething man who kills for her, draining the blood of victims into containers for Eli to drink.

This relationship between Eli and the older man isn't like father and daughter, it's more like husband and wife... unhappily domesticated husband and wife. They crowd each other, disappoint each other, sleepwalk through a day's duties (when getting ready to go out and kill, the man prepares his "blood draining kit" likes it's a lunchbox for a day at work). So then the question lingers: was this man the equivalent of Oskar some thirty odd years ago? Has Eli been seducing young boys and using them as caretakers into their adult lives?

Before heading out one night, the man says to Eli, "Do me one favor... don't go see that boy (Oskar) tonight". The statement rings of jealousy. And before sacrificing himself to protect Eli, the last word his whispers is her name.

On the other end, Oskar lives between divorced parents who are good people but inattentive caregivers. He's constantly picked on at school and has no friends. Thus, the vulnerable Oskar makes an excellent candidate for Eli's new boy-toy/man slave. This may sound like a cynical reading of a film which works hard at portraying a sweet & innocent relationship between two tweens, but let's look at the facts:

1. Eli seduces Oskar with loyalty & friendship.

2. Eli seduces Oskar with money.

3. Eli seduces Oskar with sexual advances.

4. Eli saves Oskar's life.

5. The movie is called "Let The Right One In" (i.e. choose wisely the one who shall live life with you).

After taking in a screening of Let The Right One In herself, fellow blogger buddy Marilyn wrote that she didn't like the last shot of the film; that it left things too open-ended. I had thought the last shot was really sweet, but after seeing it a second time I think Marilyn is right. It is too open-ended. But where we probably disagree, is that I think Alfredson intended to leave it that way. For he couldn't bear to show the audience where Oskar was headed... towards a life of briefcasing around a butchers knife, funnel, and plastic bottle, doing the dirty work of a 12-year-old diva.

153 comments:

stefania said...

i totally agree! my exact thoughts when i saw the last scene. when she said she was leaving for good (before the pool scene) i thought, "oh that's really nice of her. she's not going to ruin his life." but then... parasite!

Marilyn said...

"Because she prefers not to kill, Eli travels with a fortysomething man who kills for her, draining the blood of victims into containers for Eli to drink."

I don't think it is that she prefers not to kill, but rather that she doesn't want to get caught. Despite her ability to attack and kill, she doesn't seem physically strong. Hakan can dispose of the bodies so that it just appears people are disappearing, not that a vampire is on the loose. Unfortunately for Hakan, he's getting old.

As for Eli using Oskar, well let's face it - she's not human. It's impossible to know if she has genuine feelings for him, but the film comes out on the side of this being a true romance.

Fox, you can pick this film to pieces - it's not that hard, but then you're kind of missing the point of the atmosphere you so admire. Vampire movies force a suspension of disbelief more than do other films; if you don't go with it, you'll end up like Hakan - bitter and quarrelsome. Fox, lighten up.

bill r. said...

I didn't read this post because I'm dying to see this, but I'm going to read the book first, which I have on order. Not that anybody asked, or cares.

Fox said...

Bill - I care.

Stefania - I know! Poor Oskar is heading on a train to misery.

Marilyn - But in the scene where she kills a man, afterwards she holds her head as if she's ashamed. She's sitting on his body in apparent guilt. Of course, this contradicts with her wanton killing of the boys, but I supposed some would argue that they deserved it. Maybe Let The Right One In is pro-capital punishment?

But I can't lighten up. If I did, the blog would cease to exist.

Marilyn said...

I don't think she felt guilty. But let's assume she did. Wouldn't it be possible for her to have genuine feelings for Oskar? Or is the fact that she's really a very old woman preclude that?

OK, Fox, be yourself. I'm only trying to manipulate your opinions for your own good...

Fox said...

It's definitely possible. I did wonder why an older woman would be so into a 12-year-old, though. But to be fair, there aren't too many 300 year olds running around.

OK, Fox, be yourself. I'm only trying to manipulate your opinions for your own good...

OMG... you're trying "pull an Eli" on me, aren't you?!? There's a little Eli in all you females, ain't there??

I kid, I kid!

Marilyn said...

I don't know what you're talking about...

Jonathan Lapper said...

I don't either, but then, I haven't seen the movie.

Fox said...

Jonathan-

Have you seen anything "new" this year? I mean, I know you've been busy directing your own masterpieces for Cinema Styles.

Maybe your one of those guys that doesn't like to cloud his mind while he's working. Have you even heard of Mamma Mia! ?

Tim said...

I'd say shes pretty physically strong considering she rips a guys head and arm clean off

Fox said...

Good point, Tim. And she snaps the neck of a dude.

Anonymous said...

Wrong wrong wrong!
Book spoilers!:

Hakan was 45-year old teacher who collected kiddy porn by mail until the postal man ratted him out and he lost his job and his house burned down.he went into depression and drank alot then he met eli.so you see there never was a "12 year old hakan" seduced.eli and oskar & eli and hakan are 2 different things.Eli needs oskar for some humanity(meeting him she starts to dress normal,fixes her smell,and even goes as far to eat candy to fit in) so does she manipulate him?no.

Anonymous said...

I heard somewhere in the book,
Eli is/was actually a boy.
He was castrated by another vampire.
Hence the scar in the nude scene.

and "I'm not a girl" ??

Anonymous said...

"Hakan was 45-year old teacher who collected kiddy porn by mail until the postal man ratted him out and he lost his job and his house burned down.he went into depression and drank alot then he met eli.so you see there never was a "12 year old hakan" seduced.eli and oskar & eli and hakan are 2 different things.Eli needs oskar for some humanity(meeting him she starts to dress normal,fixes her smell,and even goes as far to eat candy to fit in) so does she manipulate him?no."


Thank you for clarifying the plot; it made me feel so much better and relieved from eternal sadness.

Fox said...

Anon-

Did you just have a 3-part conversation with yourself? Cuz that was pretty awesome.

amber369 said...

I agree that she (really he) did manipulate Oscar but did not manipulate in a way that say a human is familiar. The so called manipulations weren't forced on the supposed victim: they were subtle , and can be seen as calculated , but in a natural sense; in an animal or preternatural sense that the manipulator is picking up on subtle clues from all senses- and is acting on instinct; And in this way it is a differnt type of calculation and as such is never overdone or taken farther than necessary as a human might (in theory/speculation).
I believe the movie almost completely captured/portrayed the wildness/animalistic/intelligent
"being" that Eli is; These manipulations almost appear as a survival mechanism within a deep rooted highly intelligent animal- that has no sense of/ use for human morals. Would you be angry at a cat for torturing a mouse- when it is only their instinct that drives them to do so? (side note- I am under the opinion that the cat scene is placed for pure comedic value- and as such , that scene is brilliant in its audacity).

Also, what must be considered- (if in fact this is a pattern for her and Oscar is just another in the line/ knotch in the old belt) is she picks awkward (possibly within the autism spectrum or maybe even sociopathic)"kids" that already exhibit a grim perpensity towards violent fantasies and an isolated exhistance. So maybe she is setting them up for a miserable life- but whose to say they wouldn't be miserable growing up anyway without her/him in the picture? Both boy and man seem socially isolated among other "odd" quirks that could potentially disable any "normal" or "fulfilled" sort of life anyway; So in that aspect Eli fulfills certain needs; But the cost benefit can only be speculated; Though should be assumed to go in ELi's favor- per experience/and assumed wisdom precured through age. But if viewed in animal sense- such "what if's" are hardly relevant; Still this subtle distinction is yet another way the movie/book provides hints into the depth of Eli and perhaps the animal in all of us (Heart of Darkness- Lord of the Flies anyone?).
I loved this movie for many reasons (and I am not a horror /slasher fan); A real movie makes you think when the "villian" provokes such strong feelings of disgust and empathy within the viewer;And thus strong emotions/opinions about exhistence per se'; And for that reason alone- this movie is brilliant.

Amber said...
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Amber said...

side note as well- but I also wonder if in the movie- her older keeper showed, albeit extremely, subtle hints of mental decline (Alzheimers or Multi-infarct dementia); This is just my opinion- but theoretically the man must have been proficient at killing at one time- and in the movie his organization is off but at the same time his actions appear completely habitual- he get's confused easily, and there is the scene where he is clearly surprised to learn he has left his mask/incapacitating device- and simultaneously realizes he is holding the bloody plastic coat in clear view of others.

and the repeated sayings of "what use am I" with talk that is assumed to be associated with his proposal of the self inflicted use of acid and or martyrdom.

I question all this b/c I think the man in a way may have felt it necessary to take his leave (in whatever that may be)of Eli by choice- a choice made with a most distorted perception- but by choice none the less.. I mention this topic at all b/c, the fact that his skills of murder were so lacking, didn't make sense at all- and so I put my own sense to it- and most likely a biased hypothesis.. but something to consider at least-
which leads back to the question of if Oscar is doomed to the same fate or if most likely the keeper just has a pedophile worship; And Oscar is not just a repeat of events or just another fill in
(i.e. Eli may have really "liked him for him" :P )

Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

"I heard somewhere in the book,
Eli is/was actually a boy.
He was castrated by another vampire.
Hence the scar in the nude scene."

could you explain this, why this had happende, what's the past of Eli?

Anonymous said...

From the novel: Eli's real name is Elias. He was a 12 year old peasant boy in eastern Europe centuries before. A number of young boys were called to the castle of the nobleman who controlled their lands. Eli was selected by the nobleman. He was tied to a table with his penis protruding through a hole. His penis was cut off and his blood caught in a bowl, which the nobleman drank. Then Eli was made a vampire, so the place where his penis was sealed over when he healed. He has no genitals and is smooth like a Barbie doll. Pretty disturbing stuff.

Anonymous said...

Straight after seeing this movie I bought the book -- the movie is a very clever extraction from the book, but does skip/change some significant details. The relationship between Oskar and Eli initially develops as the book describes, but then deviates somewhat from the novel, particularly the nature of the kiss near the end -- the love develops sincerely, but it is platonic and Eli is fully open with Oskar. The final scene has Eli and Oskar exchanging the word "Kiss" ("puss" in swedish) in morse code, but the book does not write that (at least not my english translation).

Ramon said...

After seeing this wonderful movie I bought the book. The book explains a lot what the movie leaves up very effectively in a cloud of mysticism.
Reading the book actually confirms that Eli was very very very lonely, Oscar as well was afflicted by lonelyness. Kindred spirits of sorts.
Eli saw Oscar as food initially, but Oscar made an inadvert gesture of affection towards Eli which changed all. In the end Eli truly and madly loves Oscar.
Eli did not pick Oskar as a new helper.
For the first time in 200 years Eli has a true friend.

I love the movie. I love the book.
This is by far the best Vampire movie ever (sofar). :)

FreedomEngine said...

Someone mentioned that Eli seemed to not be very proficient at killing. Well, she can climb straight up walls and trees, and somehow caused a teenager to float over a pool before ripping his head off and then seconds later ripped the arm off a full grown man. I'd say she is fairly adept. It's true though that amybe she just doesn't like too. It seemed that way.

I'd really like to read the book as the relationship between Eli and "the man" was the most puzzling aspect of the book. They did bicker and stumble around each other as an old couple. I'm glad someone mentioned that his mental faculties were in decline because that was the part of the movie I found so weak. Why was he so stupid and poor at killing people when he obviously had been doing it for so long. His first kill was in a well lit park, just off a highway.

I had assumed that he too had been her boyfriend as a child but wasn't totally sold on the notion.

At the end of the movie one part of me was looking at Oskar and thinking 'what a poor boy', but then another side was thinking that they would run off and be happy,little vampires together.

Anonymous said...

Interview: Tomas Alfredson on "Let the Right One In"

Website: http://www.ifc.com/film/film-news/2008/10/tomas-alfredson-on-let-the-rig.php

Interviewer: Lina Leandersson is quite compelling as Eli, yet you eventually overdubbed her "too feminine and soft" voice with someone else's. How far along in the process were you before you realized that?

Tomas Alfredson: That was kind of a late decision, and it was a big decision to make. There was a new casting [call], which lasted for one month -- you know, to find the right voice. Lina's voice is beautiful, but I thought it was too high in pitch because Eli is supposed to be a boy, a castrated boy. So I was looking for a more boyish sound to her voice. It was hard work to make that work, but I think it was the right decision.

Well, there you have it. In the book Eli was a boy as stated previously. I'm aware that this is quite a shocker; however, I still think that this is a great story. I am in disagreement about Eli's chosen gender though. In my opinion Eli being a female would've been a better direction. The love between Eli and Oskar is still strong despite Oskar seeing Eli's scars. Eli being a boy seems to overdo it; however, I've only seen the movie so perhaps there was something more in the book? Or am I just being homophobic?

Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm back :D *Previous anon blogger just now*

Thought I should add that:

Even before Let the Right One In was released in cinemas, Cloverfield director Matt Reeves had signed to write and direct an English language remake for Overture Films and Hammer Films. Hammer Films acquired the remake rights at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival and Overture films plans to release the film in 2010. Alfredson has been reported as saying that he is not happy that the film is being remade, saying that "Remakes should be made of movies that aren’t very good, that gives you the chance to fix whatever has gone wrong" and expressing concern that the end result would be too mainstream. Lindqvist, in contrast, is excited that Reeves will be adapting the book from scratch rather than merely copying the original film and that the end result could be quite different.

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_the_Right_One_In_(film)

It's a wiki so I don't know if it's true. But the sources were genuine and real so it seems to be.

Awesomeallday said...

Check out these Let the Right one in dolls (and my review)!

http://www.awesomeallday.com/?p=436

i am ELI bitches...RAWRRRRRRRRRRRR said...

From the novel: Eli's real name is Elias. He was a 12 year old peasant boy in eastern Europe centuries before. A number of young boys were called to the castle of the nobleman who controlled their lands. Eli was selected by the nobleman. He was tied to a table with his penis protruding through a hole. His penis was cut off and his blood caught in a bowl, which the nobleman drank. Then Eli was made a vampire, so the place where his penis was sealed over when he healed. He has no genitals and is smooth like a Barbie doll. Pretty disturbing stuff.

Anonymous said...

wow, this all comes as a shocker to me, but do any of u know if theres an english version of LET the RIGHT ONE in?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answers, I saw this last night and had some lingering questions. One that hasn't been addressed yet is, what was up with the father? He seemed like a cool, divorced dad, but when his friend showed up at the house he became distant and took to drinking. Can anyone explain? I thought perhaps the father's "friend" was really his lover, and Oscar was having trouble accepting it.

Anonymous said...

I think that Oskar's father is having a problem with alcohol; maybe the "friend" is more than a friend but they both seem focussed on drinking that bottle of booze. Like any perceptive kid Oskar sees this; maybe thats why the mom and dad are separated.
The thing that I noticed was shortly after Eli comes into Oskar's apartment and shows him what hapenns when not invited in there is a brief image of ELI as a very old woman? which adds another element to the story: a 200+ year old creature is taking advantage of a child just like any other predator?

Anonymous said...

Well all I can say is that I just wish someone had warned me about the "nude" scene (which thankfully was only a doll), I lost a good few minutes with the shock and disgust. I think Eli was manipulating him though, the old guy was past it and making mistakes, it was only a matter of time before he really slipped up so she had to replace him.

Kim Flores said...

I would like to clear some things up hear.

The book that this film is based on tells us that Haken is old when Eli finds him, at the time Eli is desperate and so is Haken.
In the book, Haken thinks of children sexually.
Haken desires Eli, but Eli simply needs Haken to help him/her.
Eli has much less emotional involvment with Haken than Oskar.
I love the film except of the problem that Eli is played by a girl, yet is supposedly a boy, there is a scene where you see Eli turn into an old women, not an old man, so this makes the film un-accurate.
Facts, you don't know if Eli is manipulating Oskar, but if you conect with the characters enough, you will see that Oskar means much more than that to Eli.
Oskar loves her with the need for connection, friendship and love first, not sex.

I will say that the book gives a lot more away, the film is beautiful and worth seeing and supporting.
It has its problems, witch is annoying for the film is almost perfect otherwise.

The very annoying shot of what some see as Eli's vagina, well this is not so, there is a scar where Eli(Elias) had his penis removed by some possible vampires.

The situation after the end of the onscreen story.
Well there are a few possible directions that they could go in.
They could simply keep running together, Oskar could indeed start killing people, he may have it in him, the possibility of this is great, for they can protect each other(for a while at least).
Other possibles are that Oskar could decide that he does want to be a vampire, or they may split up, it would be a sad thing indeed.

You do have to understand what the film is saying while its playing, rather than trying to work out all the odd ends.
The end of the movie is great because it CAN speak to us.
Its a powerful feeling to run away with someone, in such intense circumstances.
What the story can speak, is that love can pass through any boundary, we as humans have to see past our taboos, our contraints, to see the underlying truths.

Peace and love to all

Anonymous said...

Read the freaking book and you'll understand everything... Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Hakan never was good at killing to begin with. At the start of the book, he has only killed twice, and botched the job both times (meaning they had to move).

George said...

When a young boy is castrated, testosterone levels fall dramatically, meaning "he" will look (and maybe feel) more like a girl.. hence the scene with the future Eli as an old woman.. Very nice and atmospheric movie! No need to analyse too much.. Thats whats good with a movie-u can give whatever meaning u wanted :p

Anonymous said...

Hey there. as stated in the films producer commentary the scene where Oscar´s father and his "friend" drinks vodca, does not have a homosexual undertone. in sweden its quite common to visit neighbours to see if they have any booze. Booth the books author and the films producer were both suprised that people could even think that. this has swedish printed all over it

Anonymous said...

WOW. For starters, you REALLY need to read the book, because practically every little thing you discussed in your half-witted comment is answered right there!
You got it wrong from the beginning!

Second, Eli manipulating Oskar? They're both lonely, outcasts in a hard society, so them involving in a relationship it's NOT manipulation, it's merely logical! I definitely can't explain as to why Oskar doesn't care about Eli being a murderer, but manipulation? Gimme a break...

And FINALLY...let me rephrase: READ THE BOOK. Eli ends up being the only 'person' who shows some humanity to Oskar, and viceversa! Hakan was clearly a puppet, Oskar becomes Eli's friend

Anonymous said...

umm after Oskar see's Eli's scar, the scene after is he going into his
mothers room and turning on the light? am i just sick or was he going to check his mother out to see if the parts matched?

Anonymous said...

I see where you would get these ideas from, but as many people have already said, you should read the book.
Hakan is a paedophile, so if any one is using anyone its hakan using Eli.

Fox said...

To all-

A book has nothing to do with the movie. They are separate pieces of art.

The end.

Anonymous said...

wow, so many people having opinions and making assumptions without knowing what they are talking about.
if this movie would be just a movie it would be understandable, but this is also about the book, since the movie is, you know, made after the book.
but of course, you probably don't know how to read.
i haven't saw the movie, but the book is among my favorites and all this stupid questions and people forming an opinion without knowing all the facts really annoys me.

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree. If you read the book, you would have known that Eli picked up Håkan after he got kicked out of his job as a school teacher. He was a pedophile and stayed with Eli because she was a child forever. Eli also told Oskar she wasn't a girl, and showed it to him. Eli made have gotten him into that pool scene but she gave him happiness and self confidence. If you knew what it was like to get bullied like that, and fall in love at that age you may have liked the movie/book more. She does use Håkan though to a certain degree, because she's too weak to take care of herself after her long sleep (weeks, months etc.) She never manipulated Oskar, because he had the choice of not seeing her, which was clear in the book, but they decided to leave it out from the movie. It's just a love story gone wrong, but there still is a happy ending. In the book they just think Oskar disappeared but they chose to run away together. I thought the whole Morse code "kiss" thing at the end was so adorable and showed how strong their bond is. The ending was meant to stay open, but JAL (the author) said he may make a short story about what happens to Oskar and Eli, until then I'm sticking with the whole true love thing xD

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kieran said...

i agree with your overall opinon but ur small facts are missled
1 eli didnt seduce oskar with friendship and loyalty if u watch the movie you'll see that eli didnt want to be friends with him but due to her only companiion been an old man she soon couldnt help
2eli offered money to help oskar but oskar rejects this offering
3.oskar trys sneakily to get eli to kiss him and he actualy takes a sneak peek at her while she's changing
4.she saves his life because she realises that she loves him in the end which she'd tried to avoid throughout the movie
5. there would be another way she coud simply turn oskar it would be unlikely but possible
ps the old man was a janiter not a young boy when he met eli but he lost his job after being found out to be a pedophyle that is why he helps eli becuase he loves her
so i believe you have a good opinion but you havent fully understood the movie.

Anonymous said...

READ THE BOOK. most things you assume after seeing the movie can actually be answered by just reading the book (how old is elli... how her relationship started with the older man... how mature is elli's brain despite being so old... if she manipulated oskar or hakan... blah blah blah) READ IT!

K said...

OK, without reading the rest of your comments, I think the Older man was a day time keeper as seen in other Vampire stories but the part where the old man asks her to stay in one night tells of a deeper relationship between the two. I belive that Eli chosed the older man in the same way she became friends with Oskar. As touched on in the Ann Rice novels, Eli is looking for a connection to that current time and chooses humans that are the age of when she was last human. So yes, mentaly she is much older and can twist the boy "AS Women Can Do to Men" But she does trully feel affection for Oskar as well. She had plenty of chance to kill him during the movie! My two cents.

K said...

Also, Let the Rigt one in!!! Into what? Her Heart? I think this was as much a love story as it was a movie about a Vampire!

Perry said...

I just saw the movie and loved it!

But the question if Eli uses Oskar really made me thinking and before giving my thoughts lets keep in mind:

1, The book and the movie are two separate pieces of arts so the directors intepretation/ story can be different from the original book

2, Wheter Eli is a boy, girl or vampire is only interesting if she really is a boy since it would suggest that Eli uses her percieved feminity to manipulate Oskar and others

Oterherwise it´s not so relevant since Oskar loves Eli without precondotions ( true love)

Eli: Would you still like me if I wasn´t a girl?
Oskar: Yes

The nudity scene, I think, reinforces this since Oskar accepts Eli´s "unconvential" body and just show surprise.

The only times Oskar shows resistance with Eli is in moral issues.

Now to the major question if Eli uses and manipulates Oskar and there some aspects that indicates this:

1, Håkan asks Eli if she could avoid meet Oskar one night, jealous, and later gives his life to her while saying her name. It´s hard not to think that Håkan could have been Oskar a few years ago and fallen in kove with her. (In some strange way she shows him affection and love and distance at the same time. Maybe she knew that his time soon was to come and let him love her until the end ( just a thought)).

2, In the end of the movie Eli tells Oskar that they are the same and the first word she heard him say was him describing him killing someone ( a perfect potential partner replacing Håkan )

3, In the end Eli rescues Oskar by killing his enemies and takes him with him and thereby makes Oskar no alternative,no going back. She could have rescued him with much less violence and just moved on leaving Oskar.

However I still believe that Eli loves Oskar and there are several reasons for this:

1, In the beginning of the movie, after thier first encounter, Eli shows distance to Oskar and says that she cant ´be his friend.

I believe that when Eli first sees Oskar she identifies herself with him, both alone and unaccepted, and have feelings for him but out of protection of Oskar and fear of rejection she distances herself. Since Håkan was so lost and lonely he would have been an easy pray.

2, At the end of the movie Eli enters Oskars apartment and asks him "to be more like her". Oskar later sleeps in Elis apartment and saves her from the intruder.

In an earlier scene Oskar makes a moral decision and walkes out of her when she gives him "stolen" money. This shows that Oskar has made an adult act and in a sort of way grown up and can make his own decensions and judgments, even if it means getitng angry at your best friend.

By entering and sleeping over in Eli´s apartment Oskar makes an "adult" decision again and decides that he can accept and live with vampire Eli, and all that comes with it. This, I believe, tells Eli that Oskar loves and can live with her even if it means other lving conditions.

3, In the final scene they are in the pool and Eli suddenly comes and rescues Oskar. Why would she still guard Oskar, despite leaving the place, if she didn´t love him?

She also kills two of the bullies and let one of them live, seeing her commitinfg these act. Knowing Oskar dislikes her killing she saves one boy despite she will be known by the police and public.

Anyway, those are my thougts. Would love to hear your thoghts and comments

Perry said...

I just saw the movie and loved it!

But the question if Eli uses Oskar really made me thinking and before giving my thoughts lets keep in mind:

1, The book and the movie are two separate pieces of arts so the directors intepretation/ story can be different from the original book

2, Wheter Eli is a boy, girl or vampire is only interesting if she really is a boy since it would suggest that Eli uses her percieved feminity to manipulate Oskar and others

Oterherwise it´s not so relevant since Oskar loves Eli without precondotions ( true love)

Eli: Would you still like me if I wasn´t a girl?
Oskar: Yes

The nudity scene, I think, reinforces this since Oskar accepts Eli´s "unconvential" body and just show surprise.

The only times Oskar shows resistance with Eli is in moral issues.

Now to the major question if Eli uses and manipulates Oskar and there some aspects that indicates this:

1, Håkan asks Eli if she could avoid meet Oskar one night, jealous, and later gives his life to her while saying her name. It´s hard not to think that Håkan could have been Oskar a few years ago and fallen in kove with her. (In some strange way she shows him affection and love and distance at the same time. Maybe she knew that his time soon was to come and let him love her until the end ( just a thought)).

2, In the end of the movie Eli tells Oskar that they are the same and the first word she heard him say was him describing him killing someone ( a perfect potential partner replacing Håkan )

3, In the end Eli rescues Oskar by killing his enemies and takes him with him and thereby makes Oskar no alternative,no going back. She could have rescued him with much less violence and just moved on leaving Oskar.

However I still believe that Eli loves Oskar and there are several reasons for this:

1, In the beginning of the movie, after thier first encounter, Eli shows distance to Oskar and says that she cant ´be his friend.

I believe that when Eli first sees Oskar she identifies herself with him, both alone and unaccepted, and have feelings for him but out of protection of Oskar and fear of rejection she distances herself. Since Håkan was so lost and lonely he would have been an easy pray.

2, At the end of the movie Eli enters Oskars apartment and asks him "to be more like her". Oskar later sleeps in Elis apartment and saves her from the intruder.

In an earlier scene Oskar makes a moral decision and walkes out on her when she gives him "stolen" money. This shows that Oskar has made an adult act and in a sort of way grown up and can make his own decensions and judgments, even if it means getitng angry at your best friend.

By entering and sleeping over in Eli´s apartment Oskar makes an "adult" decision again and decides that he can accept and live with vampire Eli, and all that comes with it. This, I believe, tells Eli that Oskar loves and can live with her even if it means other lving conditions.

3, In the final scene they are in the pool and Eli suddenly comes and rescues Oskar. Why would she still guard Oskar, despite leaving the place, if she didn´t love him?

She also kills two of the bullies and let one of them live, seeing her commitinfg these act. Knowing Oskar dislikes her killing she saves one boy despite she will be known by the police and public.

Anyway, those are my thougts. Would love to hear your comments ...

Perry said...

I just saw the movie and loved it!

But the question if Eli uses Oskar really made me thinking and before giving my thoughts lets keep in mind:

1, The book and the movie are two separate pieces of arts so the directors intepretation/ story can be different from the original book

2, Wheter Eli is a boy, girl or vampire is only interesting if she really is a boy since it would suggest that Eli uses her percieved feminity to manipulate Oskar and others

Oterherwise it´s not so relevant since Oskar loves Eli without precondotions ( true love)

Eli: Would you still like me if I wasn´t a girl?
Oskar: Yes

The nudity scene, I think, reinforces this since Oskar accepts Eli´s "unconvential" body and just show surprise.

The only times Oskar shows resistance with Eli is in moral issues.

Now to the major question if Eli uses and manipulates Oskar and there some aspects that indicates this:

1, Håkan asks Eli if she could avoid meet Oskar one night, jealous, and later gives his life to her while saying her name. It´s hard not to think that Håkan could have been Oskar a few years ago and fallen in kove with her. (In some strange way she shows him affection and love and distance at the same time. Maybe she knew that his time soon was to come and let him love her until the end ( just a thought)).

2, In the end of the movie Eli tells Oskar that they are the same and the first word she heard him say was him describing him killing someone ( a perfect potential partner replacing Håkan )

3, In the end Eli rescues Oskar by killing his enemies and takes him with him and thereby makes Oskar no alternative,no going back. She could have rescued him with much less violence and just moved on leaving Oskar.

However I still believe that Eli loves Oskar and there are several reasons for this:

1, In the beginning of the movie, after thier first encounter, Eli shows distance to Oskar and says that she cant ´be his friend.

I believe that when Eli first sees Oskar she identifies herself with him, both alone and unaccepted, and have feelings for him but out of protection of Oskar and fear of rejection she distances herself. Since Håkan was so lost and lonely he would have been an easy pray.

2, At the end of the movie Eli enters Oskars apartment and asks him "to be more like her". Oskar later sleeps in Elis apartment and saves her from the intruder.

In an earlier scene Oskar makes a moral decision and walkes out on her when she gives him "stolen" money. This shows that Oskar has made an adult act and in a sort of way grown up and can make his own decensions and judgments, even if it means getitng angry at your best friend.

By entering and sleeping over in Eli´s apartment Oskar makes an "adult" decision again and decides that he can accept and live with vampire Eli, and all that comes with it. This, I believe, tells Eli that Oskar loves and can live with her even if it means other lving conditions.

3, In the final scene they are in the pool and Eli suddenly comes and rescues Oskar. Why would she still guard Oskar, despite leaving the place, if she didn´t love him?

She also kills two of the bullies and let one of them live, seeing her commitinfg these act. Knowing Oskar dislikes her killing she saves one boy despite she will be known by the police and public.

Anyway, those are my thougts. Would love to hear your comments ...

Perry said...

I just saw the movie and loved it!

But the question if Eli uses Oskar really made me thinking and before giving my thoughts lets keep in mind:

1, The book and the movie are two separate pieces of arts so the directors intepretation/ story can be different from the original book

2, Wheter Eli is a boy, girl or vampire is only interesting if she really is a boy since it would suggest that Eli uses her percieved feminity to manipulate Oskar and others

Oterherwise it´s not so relevant since Oskar loves Eli without precondotions ( true love)

Eli: Would you still like me if I wasn´t a girl?
Oskar: Yes

The nudity scene, I think, reinforces this since Oskar accepts Eli´s "unconvential" body and just show surprise.

The only times Oskar shows resistance with Eli is in moral issues.

Now to the major question if Eli uses and manipulates Oskar and there some aspects that indicates this:

1, Håkan asks Eli if she could avoid meet Oskar one night, jealous, and later gives his life to her while saying her name. It´s hard not to think that Håkan could have been Oskar a few years ago and fallen in kove with her. (In some strange way she shows him affection and love and distance at the same time. Maybe she knew that his time soon was to come and let him love her until the end ( just a thought)).

2, In the end of the movie Eli tells Oskar that they are the same and the first word she heard him say was him describing him killing someone ( a perfect potential partner replacing Håkan )

3, In the end Eli rescues Oskar by killing his enemies and takes him with him and thereby makes Oskar no alternative,no going back. She could have rescued him with much less violence and just moved on leaving Oskar.

However I still believe that Eli loves Oskar and there are several reasons for this:

1, In the beginning of the movie, after thier first encounter, Eli shows distance to Oskar and says that she cant ´be his friend.

I believe that when Eli first sees Oskar she identifies herself with him, both alone and unaccepted, and have feelings for him but out of protection of Oskar and fear of rejection she distances herself. Since Håkan was so lost and lonely he would have been an easy pray.

2, At the end of the movie Eli enters Oskars apartment and asks him "to be more like her". Oskar later sleeps in Elis apartment and saves her from the intruder.

In an earlier scene Oskar makes a moral decision and walkes out on her when she gives him "stolen" money. This shows that Oskar has made an adult act and in a sort of way grown up and can make his own decensions and judgments, even if it means getitng angry at your best friend.

By entering and sleeping over in Eli´s apartment Oskar makes an "adult" decision again and decides that he can accept and live with vampire Eli, and all that comes with it. This, I believe, tells Eli that Oskar loves and can live with her even if it means other lving conditions.

3, In the final scene they are in the pool and Eli suddenly comes and rescues Oskar. Why would she still guard Oskar, despite leaving the place, if she didn´t love him?

She also kills two of the bullies and let one of them live, seeing her commitinfg these act. Knowing Oskar dislikes her killing she saves one boy despite she will be known by the police and public.

Anyway, those are my thougts. Would love to hear your comments ...

Perry said...

I just saw the movie and loved it!

But the question if Eli uses Oskar really made me thinking and before giving my thoughts lets keep in mind:

1, The book and the movie are two separate pieces of arts so the directors intepretation/ story can be different from the original book

2, Wheter Eli is a boy, girl or vampire is only interesting if she really is a boy since it would suggest that Eli uses her percieved feminity to manipulate Oskar and others

Oterherwise it´s not so relevant since Oskar loves Eli without precondotions ( true love)

Eli: Would you still like me if I wasn´t a girl?
Oskar: Yes

The nudity scene, I think, reinforces this since Oskar accepts Eli´s "unconvential" body and just show surprise.

The only times Oskar shows resistance with Eli is in moral issues.

Perry said...

Now to the major question if Eli uses and manipulates Oskar and there some aspects that indicates this:

1, Håkan asks Eli if she could avoid meet Oskar one night, jealous, and later gives his life to her while saying her name. It´s hard not to think that Håkan could have been Oskar a few years ago and fallen in kove with her. (In some strange way she shows him affection and love and distance at the same time. Maybe she knew that his time soon was to come and let him love her until the end ( just a thought)).

2, In the end of the movie Eli tells Oskar that they are the same and the first word she heard him say was him describing him killing someone ( a perfect potential partner replacing Håkan )

3, In the end Eli rescues Oskar by killing his enemies and takes him with him and thereby makes Oskar no alternative,no going back. She could have rescued him with much less violence and just moved on leaving Oskar.

However I still believe that Eli loves Oskar and there are several reasons for this:

1, In the beginning of the movie, after thier first encounter, Eli shows distance to Oskar and says that she cant ´be his friend.

I believe that when Eli first sees Oskar she identifies herself with him, both alone and unaccepted, and have feelings for him but out of protection of Oskar and fear of rejection she distances herself. Since Håkan was so lost and lonely he would have been an easy pray.

2, At the end of the movie Eli enters Oskars apartment and asks him "to be more like her". Oskar later sleeps in Elis apartment and saves her from the intruder.

In an earlier scene Oskar makes a moral decision and walkes out on her when she gives him "stolen" money. This shows that Oskar has made an adult act and in a sort of way grown up and can make his own decensions and judgments, even if it means getitng angry at your best friend.

By entering and sleeping over in Eli´s apartment Oskar makes an "adult" decision again and decides that he can accept and live with vampire Eli, and all that comes with it. This, I believe, tells Eli that Oskar loves and can live with her even if it means other lving conditions.

3, In the final scene they are in the pool and Eli suddenly comes and rescues Oskar. Why would she still guard Oskar, despite leaving the place, if she didn´t love him?

She also kills two of the bullies and let one of them live, seeing her commitinfg these act. Knowing Oskar dislikes her killing she saves one boy despite she will be known by the police and public.

Anyway, those are my thougts. Would love to hear your comments ...

Anonymous said...

wow it is amazing to see the many different ideas that people get after watching this movie, but let me clarify to each one of you about what this movies is all about. this movie is not about manipulation like some one said or elli being a boy or other weird thing that might some how ended in your head after watching the movie. this is about one thing only "human cruelty", pure and simple. here is a little girl who has an unbelievable curse. She cannot feel, laugh, love, cry and on top of that she is doomed to go to hell forever.

Alex said...

about the cats, im guessing it it has to do with the Egyptians belief on how cats are the guardians of the underworld and since vampires cheat death they see them as an enemy

films said...

she totally played him. she needs him as her new blood lackey.

Anonymous said...

To the one who wrote this review/article/thing: read the book. Your entire article is based on assumptions and misinformation. Hakan and Eli were only together for a little over a year, and Hakan was a pedophile that Eli simply used for her own purposes.

Her love for Oskar is genuine, and Oskar is certainly not on a "train to misery".

Read...the...book.

KennethAlmasy said...

your interpretation is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

did she? when i was watching the movie it eventually hit me that oscar well have the same fate as hakan. he'll grow old and do her killings for her because his infatuated with him/her. even though this is not real i think oscar would continue to love her or grow to hate her. how long would he deal with her killings. even though he himself showed some sort of dark nature by carry that knife and pretending to kill someone i think would be disgusted with himself if he had to kill to feed her. the movie was touching. i didnt mind that he is a boy. it was a 50/50 that you would be able to accept or not but it made it more interesting. eli and oskar are two lonely ppl which seems clear from the beginning. i dnt know if its just me but oskar makes eli a bit more human and eli makes him more confident. besides their using each other. i do think that oskar grew on eli. eli is introduced to few things that he never got to expeirence. i think they care about each other but love iam not sure of because they r children in my eyes but now their pretty much damned and stuck together now. i think eli does feel bad when she murders at times becuase it sometimes the look she gives but heck she's a vamp, she has to eat.

Mike said...

All you people going on and on about the book are stupid. The movie stands on its own. The lack of certain details from the book makes it it's own different story. Otherwise, they would have been in the movie! But they aren't. So get over it and forget the "book" even exists when you watch a movie. If they wanted you to "know" something about a certain character, they would have specified it instead of leading 100% of those who have seen the film (and have not read the book), to all believe the same thing. The author clearly did not care. If he really wanted you to "get the facts straight", he could have easily put in huge red lettering at the end of the movie: "NOW GO READ THE BOOK TO UNDERSTAND!". But that clearly did not happen. So if you cannot understand that they are completely seperate pieces of art, go back to the library and stay away from a theater. Or hang yourself. That is all.

Anonymous said...

I think Eli have to manipulate Oskar because she need blood.
But she is in love with Oskar too.
I love this Movie and the Book.
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Dave said...

After watching both movies back to back and reading all of these posts, I have gone back and forth about the manipulation. I tend to agree with ppl who have read the book. I appreciate the extra info not presented in the movie.

My final conclusion is that Eli does in fact fall in love with Oskar despite wanting his blood in the beginning as well as the misinterpreted relationship between Eli and Hakan (ppl seem to think hakan is purely being used b Eli, largley based on the atmosphere in the movie. However its clear that Eli's relationship with Hakan may be mutual in terms of he can get her blood and she can give him money, since his probability of getting a job is slim (pedo-status). I also believe she has a deeper connection based on the fact that he is different and outcast as well. Not to mention she is a pedo to some degree if she is truly in love with Oskar, actually making her worse than Hakan (However many hundreds of years older than Hakan will ever be. The whole face touching thing before he fucks up hardcore. She prolly knew he was gonna die cause he was so bad at it.


I also think most ppl overlook that Oskar does seem to have it in him to kill. I think its the first movie... but the scene where the cop is talking in Oskars class about knowing how the Guy died from causes other than being burnt up. Oskar knows weird shit about ppl dying. It gives you the sense that he's similar to a Dexter (where we can identify with someone who could have killer instincts). Furthermore is it so out of the question that he could be using her for protection while he fulfils his killer tendencies? Of course nothing really supports that idea. Just thought its an interesting idea.

My honest opinion is that it wad a pretty good movie. Really want to read the book now.

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Unknown said...

Grayson says!!:

After watching the movie the first time, my first empressions were she was using him setting up for a new "mate". Not necessarily a concious act, i dont think, but still seduction.

But. After a few viewings it could be eqsy to say she had grown attached to Oscar. she didnt have to save him from the pool. she didnt even have to tell him to defend himself but she did. tbats what told me she cared.

i dont know if deleted scenes are apart of the discussion but they do bring some things into context and let you see a little more of Eli's love/ or longing for companionship with Oscar.

but maybe saving Oscar was less work than "training"/ grooming a new man servant.

Austin said...

I wasn't sure about the cats; I thought it was a hallucination to simulate her tripping out.

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If you've read the novel she asks Oskar if he'd like to become like her. He declines, but states he wants to be with her.

I personally think she develops genuine feelings for him, and he for her as they are both outcasts in the world they live in, and can only truly find trust in each other.

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I don't think Eli seduces Oskar or intends to groom him to become the next Hakan.

If you've read the novel she asks Oskar if he'd like to become like her. He declines, but states he wants to be with her.

I personally think she develops genuine feelings for him, and he for her as they are both outcasts in the world they live in, and can only truly find trust in each other.

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It the "sequel" novella short story "Let The Old Dreams Die", a detective trying to solve Oskar's disappearance finds out that Oskar and Eli perform a "blood pact", the pact Oskar originally tries to do with Eli in the book and accidentally pushes Eli to vamp out because of the sudden emergence of blood from Oskar's hand.

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Well, Oskar saved Eli's life FIRST.

Harkon (or w.e his name is in the movie" is a pedophile who is being used.

Eli "looks at me differently than I see myself, she see's someone stronger, more handsome, and looks upon me with.... Love" (Paraphrased from the actual thoughts of Eli being seen by Oskar through a kiss).

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Are you guys all idiots !?,cause I think you are ,have you ever read the novel !? or watch the movie !? Did you even read the epilogue of the story!? Eli did not manipulate Oskar Eli genuinely loved Oskar and ask him one time if she would like to become like her but he declined and after eli told him to hit back to his tormentors he did and he feels really bad and I think in the epilogue of LTROI -let the old dreams die- Eli and Oskar were spotted in Barcelona in 2008 neither of them age a day since the massacre of the pool had happened back in the early 1980's so in the end after eli save him oskar had change his mind to be with eli for all eternity and by being with her he must accept her taints and embrace it, he did so basically Oskar is a vampire with eli and is being chase by Stefan and his wife which I think they would never find them and just to clear your mind Eli loves Oskar more than Hakan I think she sees Hakan only as her guardian or something and to oskar in a romantic way

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"In the novel, Eli is a roughly 200 year old vampire. Born sometime around the 1760s in Norrköping, Eli was originally a young peasant boy named Elias, who was taken from his family by "The Man in the Wig", a vampire nobleman who not only castrated but removed Elias' penis and then imprisoned him. Elias escaped, and adopted a feminine appearance as a result and is perceived by outsiders as a young girl. By the twentieth century, Eli manipulates an older man named Håkan, a former teacher and pedophile, into becoming a servant responsible for procuring blood for her. By the end of book, Håkan dies and Eli and Oskar run away together. The nature of their relationship is ambiguous.

Lindqvist's novella Let the Old Dreams Die reveals that Oskar and Eli make a blood pact shortly after leaving Blackeberg, thus infecting Oskar with Eli's condition. By 2008, the two have traveled to Barcelona, Spain, and are pursued by a police officer who has become obsessed with solving the mystery of Oskar's disappearance."

http://let-me-in.wikia.com/wiki/Abby/Eli

I've never read the novels but judging by the text above, it seems like the movie did a good job staying true to its roots.