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New Review: Twilight

November 21, 2008

badguys

If I was 16 years old and hadn’t yet met my first serious first love at 17, this movie would be ideal. It would be what Labryinth was to me when I really was 16. The mundane world slipping away into a magical place that at first seems so perfect, and yet real dangers lurk.

But I’m 30 and fell in love too many times, so maybe I just can’t as easily believe anymore that blind stupidity is romantic.

Bella, played by the fantastic Kristen Stewart (see Cake Eaters for an early example of her strong performance), doesn’t know her own worth and yet is so much more than the others. She is beautiful but doesn’t believe it of herself. She is a klutz and draws in danger and as careful as she is to not dance or do anything that can cause her harm, she falls blindly into Edward. Is that just being human, or is it what it means to be 17 and unable to use logic to avoid heart break?

And Edward, who should know better being over 100 years old, is no different than any other 17 year old. Played by the strong jawed Robert Pattinson (you know as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter), Edward struggles against what he wants and what he thinks he should do, a strong ethical dilemma for someone who believes himself to be an immoral monster.

And yet, when Edward looks at Bella, I want to believe again. It takes me back to that place where first love is so painful that all life stops except the brief moments between you two. I found myself holding my breath when Edward stared with painful desire at the object that was tearing him apart.

But somehow, it wasn’t enough, it felt forced, it felt washed over. I realized that what I loved so much about the book were the little details, the slow release of the love story as I took my own time in reading it, stopping when it became too much. But the movie didn’t allow me that opportunity. I had to take someone else’s perspective of the book and follow along at their speed. See their thought of what their world looked like, which sometimes was right on, and other times jarring on how different their view was from mine.

And yet, the movie brought to life things I didn’t expect to enjoy. Laurent, James and Victoria were so much more than I had expected. The film allowed me to appreciate them much more than I had in the novel.

The other unexpected gem was Jackson Rathbone as Jasper, Alice’s beloved. His comic interpretation of the newest “vegetarian” was a lovely touch to the film and his performance was reminiscent of a young Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands.

Nikki Reed, whose film Thirteen I adore, played an excellent Rosalie, the angry beauty that has complete disdain for Bella.

Alice, played by Ashley Greene was the character I had the least interest in, which surprised me as I loved the book version. I just didn’t get any feel for Alice, the slow build up to their friendship in the book was glazed over – with only a brief moment between them.

And therein lies the problem with adaptations. If you love a book, the movie can never live up to the hype. You fall in love with the little details, noticing every thought of characters, reading long paragraphs to describe a small moment that can easily be interpreted on screen within one second. You lose your sense of time and connection with the characters you have gotten to know, and they become just another movie, just another story. But never the perfect movie that runs in your head.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 2:19 am

    KRISTINE LYNNETTE bout what the speak NOREEN

  2. November 24, 2008 12:16 pm

    I recently read this interesting article on IO9 about the super right-wing Mormon messages that are propagated by the book. The article discusses a bunch of stuff that happens throughout the entire series, so if you haven’t read all the books yet, I’d avoid reading it so you don’t read spoilers, but if you have read all the books I’d be interested in getting your opinion about what the article says.

    Having not read the books, I can’t really say anything either way, but it doesn’t sound good if what the article states are true.

    Here’s the link to the article:

    http://io9.com/5096310/twilights-hidden-morality-plays

  3. Harry Addington permalink
    November 23, 2008 7:01 pm

    Good review on Twilight

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