Dracula's Love Story
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the title of Francis Ford Coppola’s film adaptation of the classic novel Dracula. Coppola signified that the film would stay with the original plot and theme from the novel by putting the author’s name in the title of the film. However, even though he claims that his film is patterned after the novel, Coppola still could not help but put his own twist on the novel by sensualizing the story and adding a love story between Dracula and Mina. By adding a romantic subplot, Coppola makes the viewers feel sympathy for the evil Dracula when he is finally killed at the hand of his loved one. Also, the character of Mina turns from heroine in the novel to victim in the movie by having her fall in love with Dracula. Coppola changes the original story of Dracula in the film adaptation in many ways by the addition of a love story between Dracula and Mina.
In the film adaptation of Dracula, the origins of the title character are explained to provide a motive for the love obsession between the title character and his lover. In the film, Dracula is said to be the notorious prince of Romania known as Vlad the Impaler. This idea stems from a theory that Bram Stoker actually patterned the character of Dracula after a real prince of Romania named Voivode. The movie shows that after a very bloody battle in 1463 against the Turks, Prince Vlad came back to his castle in Transylvania to find that his adored Elisabeta (played by Winona Ryder) had committed suicide. Dracula says, “I, Dracula, Voivode of Transylvania, will arise from my own death to avenge hers with all the powers of darkness!” He condemns God and makes a pact with the devil to become immortal by feeding on other people’s blood. This explanation of Dracula’s birth into the undead occurs at the beginning of the movie to explain Dracula’s obsession with Mina (also played by Winona Ryder). When Jonathan Harker shows Dracula a picture of Mina, Dracula notices the similarities between his dead Elisabeta and Harker’s intended bride Mina. Dracula knows at once that he must find Mina and claim her as his own.
The novel does contain the notion that Count Dracula is in fact Vlad the Impaler, but it does not mention the character of Elisabeta. While Abraham Van Helsing is explaining his theory of Dracula’s origins he says, “He must, indeed, have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk…”(Stoker 309). Voivode was the real name of the prince of Romania whose nickname was Vlad the Impaler. Therefore, Stoker does imply that the Count was once the prince from Romania, yet nowhere does he mention that he had a lover named Elisabeta that resembled Mina. This creation for the film was necessary to provide a motive for the love story between Dracula and Mina to occur.
When Mina meets Dracula on the streets of London, a meeting that did not occur in the novel, Mina says that Dracula seems familiar to...