PeteMork wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:52 am
metoo wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:53 am
I also think the turning was planned already before O&E embarked the train to Karlstad. Oskar was visibly happy on the train, as noticed by Stefan Larsson, the conductor. Oskar was anticipating what would come. And once off the train, he and Eli wasted no time. But I think the notion that "Eli turned Oskar" is incorrect. In my view infecting Oskar was a mutual decision and a mutual action. Rather than Eli doing it to Oskar, they did it together.
I agree. They certainly couldn't have had a conversation of that sort on the train. And as you pointed out, Oskar and Eli wasted no time once they were off the train.
And it was certainly consensual.
And maybe a bit more like "consanguine".
Movie Eli does seem to have accorded people in general with considerable respect. Eli shuffles where Dracula swaggers, and she doesn't treat her fellow monster (Haakan) like a whipping dog. This, I think, is something of Elias himself that survived the centuries. In addition to this, the blackly twisted state of Eli's socialisation and acculturation would have taught her the futility of trying to force anybody into anything other than an early grave. I find it telling that novel Eli tells Oskar just to think of what she is as "an unusual illness" - a pathetically meek image for a powerful and incalculably dangerous apex predator who could wipe out heavily armed platoons of battle-hardened soldiers in a matter of minutes.
Instead of using force, she tried to use seduction (in the novel "we can kiss if you want") and money (in the movie "you dont' need to sell papers, I have money to give you") to keep Oskar at her side and was probably confused when he declined, and may have even been more than just a little "concerned" when he mounted his moral soapbox about stealing valuables from her victims. This guy just wasn't looking to hook up or secure a meal ticket, and I think it may have taken her a bit of time to understand that for all that he's a thief and generally anonymous lowlife in the novel and a weak, sniveling little scarecrow in the movie, all he really wanted was somebody who would be
with him. Nothing more than that, but all
of that: just be
In his own turn, Eli was something new to Oskar's experience, I think. Once he'd penetrated her cover story (living with Dad, probably going to some local middle school or other) and found he was really just a McDonald's #4 supersize combo (heavy on the catsup, please!) on legs to her, he must have realised that her small evasions had more to do with long-practised survival habits less to do with how she thought of him; she was lying to him, in other words, with the emotional equivalent of a form letter. What he'd noticed more was that she not only didn't avoid him, she actually seemed to seek him out, and not because she wanted something from him (money, blood, purple carnations).
He'd had to let her go anywhere after Lacke crashed their slumber party, but he certainly didn't want to. Call it a boomerang effect: she was gone, leaving him emptier than he'd ever been before, I think, and then she was back just when he needed her most. He's not stupid; her showing up when she did wasn't co-incidence, she had to've been watching. His mother wasn't there for him, his father wasn't there for him, various random people from the school/institution that loomed so large in his daily life weren't there, the police weren't there - none of these people had been watching and hadn't realised he'd been subjected to such danger (and like as not would have dealt with the danger ineffectively) - but she
was, and was (ahem) rather vigorous in his defence.
I've never read Old Dreams, and so I'm stuck with relying on "canon", but I do honestly believe that if Oskar had asked to be with her by being like
her, it was because (1) he believed with justification that she'd respect his decision not
to, just as she'd done before (in the novel) and (2) because he felt committed to her, probably realistically recognising that he could never be committed to anybody else to such a degree.
Lucky dog, is our Oskar. Their relationship already had an unusually solid basis before the movie's credits started rolling, and assuming nothing unforeseen, he'll be spared the living hell of having lost his first love.