The biggest problem with Coppala’s Dracula is he promised one thing and give us another. He said he wanted to do the book, that it’s never been done before. He is kind of right about that, although the Jess Franco version is actually quite quite close to the book. Coppala went into great depth and detail to recreate this world but still fails to capture the novel itself. What are minor things like the fact that Dracula was not dressed on black or that he had curly hair or the ability to walk in sunlight (both specific to the book!) or elements like casting terrible actors such as Keanu Reeves and Wynona Rider in key roles, these are not the major sins of the film. Coppola transforms Dracula into a love story . Not just a love story, but a love story between Mina and Dracula! If you have known me for any length of time you’ll know how this infuriates me. There is no trace of the relationship between Mina and Dracula in the book, indeed the way Mina was forced to take Draculas blood in the novel was nothing less than rape. Here, it’s treated as a love scene…we’ve transformed a hateful assult into a passionate scene of infidelity, apparently justified by reincarnation. I hate Coppola for this…so very much. The single saving grace here is Anthony Hopkins who’s version of Van Helsing is brilliant. But if I were to remake this film, I’d realy do the book. Straight, no reimagining. I’d jettison Keanuand Wynona and replace them with the blandest of soap opera actors it would still be an improvement. Most importantly though I’d make that love story one between Harker and Mina, because that is the real point here. Mina is devoted to husband to the point of the tracking Dracula through thier shared bond and then I think is a far more uplifting story, a far more compelling story, a far better story. It is in fact, the real story of the book.
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