Dracula Untold

05/12/2014 § Leave a comment

I read the novel by Bram Stoker and I find it very interesting. It was a classic Gothic horror that started all the vampire or stories of the same genre, or at least that’s what people say. I might have created a post of my insights about the book and the lines I liked from there. If not, I will try to find my journal where I have written it.

I am not very fond of these mythical creatures called vampires, but I think that in some way, they exist. Like maybe they came into existence by being made up by someone who has based them on bats, or mosquitoes because they were both blood-suckers. Or that they were really just cannibals who kills people for the sake of drinking blood, which was believed by some to bring forth youth. Anyhow, my interest in vampires increased after reading the novel as it explained how vampires are, or how humans become vampires. They are really complicated beings than simply burning when they were exposed to sunlight.

I also came across this anime on my younger days – I think it was called Ghost Hunt – which featured a few episodes regarding vampires. As I remembered it, there were bits and pieces that were based on the Dracula novel, but it was a lot more of an original work. I watched it with my siblings on the Halloween season, and at night too. So just imagine my fright then. It was a lot scarier than the novel with all the visual and sound effects added to make it more terrifying. There is really a big difference between a plain black and white book, whose interpretation depends on the reader, and the anime which gives you the image of how the creators want it to be perceived. I find the novel more educational though.

Van Helsing was also a movie with the main story having to do with vampires, Dracula in particular. I have not watched it, only bits and pieces whenever it was shown on HBO. This movie, however, were mostly told in the perspective of the one who wanted to kill vampires. It was mostly based on the Dracula novel, I think. Well, Abraham Van Helsing was the doctor who also studies and researches about vampires in the novel, so that makes sense.

Moving on, Dracula Untold was something like a prequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. The entire story of the movie might not be what Bram Stoker had in mind while writing the novel. Well, no one would know now, I guess. So why not give the story writer and director the credit for making a completely new story based on the original work? I only wanted to watch the movie because I kind of wanted to know how Dracula became a vampire, or what happened for him to be one. There were little bit of details in the novel that could simply be interpreted that he was once a human, but it was never in detail. Thanks to the imagination of the producer, director, story writer and researchers, and everyone involved in the making of the plot, that somehow, we were given the idea of how Count Dracula came to be.

I wanted to include a short summary of the movie but I’m not a good storyteller, so I’m leaving that out. So how did Dracula became a vampire? So for those who was only planning to see the film, this will be a spoiler so stop here.

Vlad III discovered a creature residing in a mountain cave under his kingdom’s jurisdiction. It was the priest who informed him that the creature was called a vampire and the kind of power he possesses. His ordeal only increased when the ruling Sultan, Mehmed, whom his kingdom pledged loyalty to, ordered a thousand young boys from his kingdom to be trained to become soldiers, including his son. He tried to make negotiations with the Sultan but failed. He had decided that in order to save his kingdom, despite the great loss it will cause, he has to abide by the Sultan’s order, fearing to induce a war against the Sultan’s battalion, which will be a greater risk for his kingdom. Stirred by his emotions on the day of the handover of his son, he killed the Sultan’s soldiers, instantly proclaiming war. His kingdom was a small one, and does not even have an army that could match up against the Sultan’s. Knowing about the vampire’s power, he decided to make a deal with the vampire without a moment’s hesitation. This decision, however, was not easily done. Before he could acquire the same power as the vampire, he himself needs to become his kin.

He needs to drink the vampire’s blood to acquire his power. In three days time, if he was able to resist drinking human blood, he would return to being a human. But if he drank human blood, he would inherit the bloodline and become a fully-pledged vampire. On his return, he found his kingdom to be under attack by the Sultan’s army. Confident of his newly acquired ability, he faced the entire army alone, and defeated every soldier. After his victory, he decided to take the remaining of his people to a different place, a castle on the mountain side where the priests reside, as a strategic move. On one of their camps during the journey, he met a man, who wanted to serve him, and believed that he was a vampire. He offered Vlad his blood, tempting his restrained thirst for it. It only angered Vlad and asked him to leave.

Before the third day ends, he was met by unforeseen circumstances, forcing him to drink his dying wife’s blood, with the thought of saving his abducted son. He turned his surviving people into vampires, to get revenge on the Sultan. The Sultan, not unprepared, welcomed him. He and his people won and killed the Sultan and all of his army. He was able to save his son, but with all his people turned vampires, whose thirst for blood seems to have no end, the two of them were in a predicament. To his rescue, the priest came to take his son and bring him to safety. With this, he was able to fulfill his promise to his deceased wife – to save their son. He has decided to kill himself with all the vampires around him, so cleared the sky of clouds, exposing himself and everyone else’s to the sun. They burned and died.

But the man who wanted to serve Vlad came to save him. He dragged Vlad to shelter and gave him his blood, instantly reviving the almost dead vampire. His son, on the other hand, became a young king, but having the kingdom forget about his father and everything that has to do with him. The movie ended with Vlad meeting Mina hundred of years later. So there might be a sequel to the movie, but I think that it will be a little different than main Dracula story.

I am once again saying that I am only keen on watching the movie because I want to know how Dracula came to be. The movie, despite having an entirely different story from the Dracula novel, is still a must-see. I find the story interesting, once again, thanks to the people involved in it. I am not sure about the taking over or passing the vampire position to another, but at least we have been given the idea of how Dracula became a vampire. It was hinted in the novel that he was once human, capable of feeling emotions such as love, and the pain of losing a dear person. I could not really compare the movie with the novel as the plot is entirely different. However, I notice a little difference in the movie ending that might have a sequel.

1) It was never mentioned in the novel that Mina resembled Vlad’s dead wife.

2) Dracula met Jonathan first before Mina. But then again, Dracula met Mina while Jonathan was not around. So it might still follow the novel.

Apparently, in other Dracula movie or television series adaptations, Mina resembled Dracula’s dead wife. And after meeting Jonathan and seeing his fiancee’s picture, he tried to find her after all his preparation for moving to a different land has been done. There were particular characteristics Dracula possessed in the novel which does not make him as powerful as he was thought to be, the thing is that he was smart to make use of his advantages.

1) In the novel, Dracula could not easily enter houses without having been invited by someone. Once granted permission, however, he could easily come and go as he pleased, but only through the entrance he was permitted to enter. In the same sense, he could not simply leave his place and travel to a different country. That country must have the soil of his place, as to be able to reside there. He made a barbaric group of people to send boxes of soil to his new place and eventually send him to that place.
2) He could turn into animals. He was a wolf when he attacked Lucy’s house, and he was a big bird or a bat lurking around Mina’s place.
3) He was weak against garlic, stakes and silvers, as what everyone knows.

There were other things as well but that was not really part of the movie so I’m not mentioning it. By the way, my favorite quote in this movie was:

Sometimes,the world no longer needs a hero. Sometimes, what it needs is a monster.
– Vlad III

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Happiness is…

04/01/2014 § Leave a comment

Happiness is born from the heart.

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