No, Keanu. Just no.
I am loving Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’.
For a story I know so well, and I have seen a million vampire things, I was rather shocked at myself for not having read the original book. It’s in the form of diary entries, letters, and newspaper reports, that all build to create the story, like an awesome collage of blood, insanity asylums, ships and old buildings.
However, Keanu Reeves. While I don’t completely disapprove of him as an actor, although the best thing I’ve seen him in was ‘Constantine’, where his non-acting style of acting was perfect, he should never have been Jonathan Harker. The Francis Ford Coppola Dracula version is still a great film, and I’m more than happy to have in my head this as my Van Helsing –
And of course, this as my Dracula, whether like this –
Or like this –
Although, when he is like that, he blurs in my mind this this –
However, no Keanu, no. The accent is horrible, but most of all, in the book Jonathan is utterly terrified and going out of his mind, it’s a part that could really be memorable if Keanu had been able to portray the crippling fear, awkwardness and utter conviction he will soon die, of which Jonathan writes about in his diary.
I’m not seeing Winona Ryder as Mina, which is a good thing, and probably means her performance was neither good enough nor bad enough to have become lodged in my head.
A part not represented in many versions that I particularly enjoyed is the captain’s log, and his entries detailing how the crew of the ship that is unknowingly carrying Dracula to Britain, are being haunted, eaten, and going mad. His only choice after his crew are demolished is to bind himself to the ship’s wheel with a rosary in his hands, and there, according to the following newspaper report, his dead body is found, still in that position, after a huge storm brings the ship into Whitby. And the local seafaring community give him a great funeral, which was really very nice of them. Funerals cost a fortune.
A giant wolf like creature was seen escaping the ship, and Stoker perfectly captures the attitude of many of the locals to this news, and that is, they alert the S.P.C.A (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, they weren’t yet ‘Royal’) as they are worried about the poor thing. A giant wolf-thing has come ashore from a ship with one dead crew member and the rest missing, and Brits immediately think of Pedigree Chum and a nice spot by the fire for the thing. Kind of makes me proud.