November 30, 2008
Has there ever been a more attractive storyline than star crossed love? First there was Romeo and Juliet, practically adolescent and yet still timeless, forced to keep their love a secret or have it murdered by the hate of their families. They were followed decades later by another young couple, Rose and Jack, aboard a doomed ship, separated by social class. Now, author Stephanie Meyer has created an entirely new, slightly unconventional couple: Edward Cullen and Bella Swan.

This popular best- selling series has captivated teen girls worldwide, telling Edward and Bella's story of forbidden love and the obstacles they face in order to make their relationship possible. These books combine the eternally popular, somewhat cliché elements of teen love stories, the forbidden love of Romeo and Juliet and the elements of danger and ultimate demise Jack and Rose dealt with before them, into an indulgent teen romance that has girls everywhere sighing and swooning. With one major twist; Edward is a vampire. Over the course of the four part series, we follow plain- girl Bella and inhumanly beautiful Edward in their quest to make their love work. Now, Stephanie Meyer has teamed up with Summit Entertainment and director Catherine Hardwicke to bring the first book in her vampire series, Twilight, to the big screen.

Twilight is the beginning of Edward and Bella's relationship, and therefore, arguably among fans, the most romantic. The Romeo and Juliet theme is most apparent in Twilight, as the two teenagers struggle against their undeniable attraction to one another and Edward's natural instincts to devour Bella on the spot. Fans have patiently waited to see their favorite couple on the silver screen, particularly Edward, who is described in the books as virtually the most beautiful male imaginable. Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), fresh off the Harry Potter bandwagon (which he was thrown off due to his character's, Cedric Diggory's, death in the fourth installment), brings the gorgeous vampire to life, while Kristen Stewart (In the Land of Women, Into the Wild) portrays the supposedly plain, but much sought after, Bella.

The movie opens in a manner quite identical to the book, with Bella moving from her home in Arizona to the small Washington town of Fork. All the while, Stewart's disembodied voice awkwardly narrates, reading parts that seem straight from the book including the prologue, which works on the page but certainly not on the screen. Bella, after some scenes of awkward interaction with her father, attends Forks High School, immediately and unbelievably making friends with people who seem to have been waiting for her arrival. Over eager Eric (Justin Chon) tells her she is “front page news, baby”, delivering the lines in a way that makes him sound like the president of your Drama Club at school, the one who gives himself all the main roles. Making the Bella character even more difficult to understand in terms of her supposed attractiveness, Stewart's Bella is awkward, yes, but boring to watch. She maintains the same bland facial expression and monotone voice through almost the entire movie, particularly in the first few scenes. In the books, Meyer's Bella is at least colored with some jokes and smiles from time to time. We meet Edward (Pattinson) in the same place as the book, the cafeteria, where Jessica (Anna Kendrick) gives Bella the inside scoop on the Cullens. Hardwicke introduces our vampire clan in a way so ridiculous it makes you want to bust up laughing (I myself was in hysterics). Walking into the cafeteria in pairs, slow motion of course, while Jessica narrates, first Emmet and Rosalie, followed by Jasper and Alice, and finally, our loveless loner boy, Edward at the rear. It seems to be made specifically with the midnight premiere in mind, with Jessica giving the audience plenty of time to scream and cheer upon each character's introduction. A few minutes later, Bella walks into her biology class where she is paired with Edward for a lab partner. Hardwicke strategically places a fan behind Stewart to blow her mouth- watering smell in Edward's direction, obviously a fan of slow motion. Pattinson covers his mouth, unintentionally comical, closing his eyes and looking as though he wants to barf and getting a massive amount of laughter from the audience. From there, it's all downhill. The dialogue between Edward and Bella seems extremely awkward, even by the end of the movie when it's supposed to be easy for them, being undead soul mates and what not. The screenwriters obviously tried too hard to include the pivotal, fan - pleasing moments and quotes, neglecting to preserve the flow of the movie. The film feels choppy and poorly written and those in the audience who haven't read the books are utterly lost. Even as a previous fan of the series, I found the plot hard to follow and the big, revealing moments poorly and strangely executed. The movie has few redeeming moments and when they do occur it is extremely brief and generally when no one is talking However, due to the huge fan base and easily pleased nature of said highly dedicated fans, Twilight will do very well, even in light of its issues. A sequel, no doubt, is already on the horizon.

Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Twilight Lover said...
Jan. 28, 2009 at 1:33 am
You dodn't like Twilight? Well, I did. I'm not saying that you can't have feelings or anything, but I don't like your review. It is not bad :( but I hate it. (No offense!)
AliPants said...
Jan. 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm
A very well written review. I completely agree with you, the film was quite mediocre in almost all aspects, and the acting was just awkward, almost painful at times. Great job!
SpecialK said...
Dec. 5, 2008 at 11:12 pm
Well, I can't say I completely agree with you, but the review was very well written and had lots of detailed...well, details. I applaud you for sharing your point of view (the one different from all the stupidly obsessed fan-girls with nothing better to do in life than go see the movie five times over)! Great job!
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