Dracula Untold: what a hot hot mess. Did it need to be told?
I go to the movies about once a week. I prefer the cinema to watching at home. The big dark room with the big screen, loud surround sound- “all around you”, movie theater popcorn.
The exception is movies that don’t come here and movies that are so heavily edited the results are confused, like Wolf of Wall Street. The censors have definitely been softening up.
Last night, in Dracula, there were a couple kisses left in. My friend whispered her surprise to me that the kisses were not relegated to a cutting room floor. ‘Lot of locals here’ she continued.
I wondered what the Emiratis thought, but for different reasons.
Dracula was terrible. A cheesy period-piece love story, but not cheesy enough to be enjoyable. Thank goodness I had popcorn. I was fidgety, laughed during “sad” parts, and kept chatting to my friend, a sure sign I’m not into the movie.
It also felt uncomfortably anti-Muslim. It’s set at a time when the Turks of the Ottoman Empire are trying to move into Europe. The Ottomans are the evil ones here, not Dracula, who wants to save Europe. It’s a strange commentary on modern immigration. And I wander if I would have made that interpretation before.
It was like being back in Paris in 2003 and seeing David Bowie live, hearing him sing “I’m afraid of Americans” and the crowd going totally wild.
‘Argo’, ‘Lone Survivor’, ‘Zero-Dark Thirty’ are all movies I have watched in Dubai, which have focused on American relations with the Middle East. All three were great films that I thoroughly enjoyed and don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same space as Dracula.
But, during all these films, I have shifted a little in my seat, wondering what side the woman in the veils are thinking and feeling. I had the same feeling here.
Emiratis have joined in the recent fight against ISIS and they like to clap at the theater. They clapped when Osama Bin Laden died in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’.
With the Arab Spring and other wars surrounding them, the U.A.E is proud to be a land of peace and prosperity.
In the movie Prince Vlad the Impaler, is trying to protect his people from war. So, he drinks from the blood of a cave-dwelling vampire, becomes Dracula, and has three days to use his extra strength to destroy the Ottoman Turks. He has three days to fight off blood lust.
The villainous Ottoman Turks were marching with flags of the Islamic crescent moon, and flags with Arabic lettering, while references were made to the evil Sultan of the Muslim Empire and the strange way the Turks prayed. It is the time of the Crusades.
Overall the film was just bad. It had a tiny hint of potential in its plot, but all was soon lost. You know it’s bad when the audience thinks the film has ended three times. They clapped for each ending, people getting out of their seats to leave, and then another scene would pop up. This happened three times. People were left milling around awkwardly in the aisles.
There were tons of plot holes and silliness. As my friend declared in her Irish accent, “It was shite”.