The movie 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' is an appropriation of the book 'Dracula', written by Bram Stoker. Bram Stoker wrote this book in 1897 and created, in English literature, the folklore which has prompted numerous subsequent appropriations of the Dracula story. The most modern of these appropriations are movies of the late 20th century, including Anne Rice's 'Interview with the Vampire' (adapted from the book of the same name), Wes Craven's 'Dracula 2000' (trading on Wes Craven's reputation for good horror movies), and the one chosen for illustration in this essay, 'Bram Stoker's Dracula', directed by Hollywood master Francis Ford Coppola. The title 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' seeks to lend authenticity to the movie by association with the name of the author. In reality, the theme of Bram Stoker has been revamped (no pun intended) into the art form of Hollywood.
The book sets out with a clear dichotomy with two principles. On the one hand, there's good. On the other hand, there's evil. The book gradually reveals the face of evil and ultimately, 'good' triumphs. The book draws on Christian religious belief to equate Dracula with evil, and his opponents, symbolised by the cross, as symbolic of good. The movie does not depend on religious parable; it's just a love story. .
In short, the book is about Count Dracula relocating from Transylvania to England, feeding on select individuals along the way. Consequently, the core plot of the movie is nominally the same, but in reality, it is about Dracula's search to recapture the love that he lost when his wife committed suicide (whereby he swore allegiance to the forces of evil and denounced the Christian God). This creates Dracula as a figure to be pitied, and even loved.
Dracula's character in the novel is extremely flat: he kills, feeds, and walks the earth as one of the 'undead'. He is a kin to an animal who kills only to feed. He disperses fifty boxes of soil around London so he can take advantage of the widespread population to eat, rejuvenate, and survive.