Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
Written by Melissa Rosenberg
Based on the Novel, ‘Twilight’ by Stephanie Meyer
Starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
Now Playing in Theaters
When my friends and I made our way to the “Twilight” premiere, we decided that we were going to act like teenyboppers and blend in with the hordes of high-schoolers and possibly middle-schoolers that we predicted would be present. To our great surprise, half of the audience comprised of college students who were unabashedly hardcore fans. But regardless of age, the majority of the audience at the “Twilight” premiere was female. I estimated a total of 5 percent y-chromosomes, loosely consisting of fathers picking up their daughters, boyfriends of avid fans, and the occasional feminine-looking hipster.
As far as movies go, I would have to say that “Twilight” is at best a B-rated movie. Although I have read the books, I am not simply making my judgment as a fan. From my past experience with movies-turned-from-books, I think that fans of any book should avoid drawing parallels or comparisons between the film and the original novel. There will always be disappointments in the film — be it the absence of certain scenes or stilted development of two characters’ relationship. In order to give the film justice, one has to view the film and novel as two distinct forms of expression. A filmmaker’s interpretation will never been 100 percent in sync with the writer’s. While one may not agree with the filmmaker’s choices in either the casting or interpretation of the novel, this shouldn’t be the basis of their opinion on the film.
In any case, the director of the “Twilight” seemed completely besotted with Robert Pattinson, the actor who brings the legendary Edward Cullen to the screen. Pattinson who played Cedric Diggory in the 4th Harry Potter film, reprises the role of a teenage heartthrob, except as a young vampire and not a wizardling. While it is true that Pattinson’s high cheekbones and noble profile are quite aesthetically pleasing, I think that director Catherine Hardwicke may have lingered a bit too long on Pattinson’s face. The most memorable visual aspect of the film probably has to be the pan-shots and zoom-ins of Pattinson’s smoldering British gaze. Although judging from the squeals and shrieks of the audience, the eye candy was much appreciated, I think that Pattinson as Edward sometimes overshadows his co-star, Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella.
While a main focus of the film is the flourishing relationship between Edward and Bella, the dialogue is a bit too sparse. I understand that the director may have been trying to “show” the development of the duo’s relationship but instead, flattens the relationship as a whole. Bella is painted as a normal girl hopelessly enraptured by a vampiric youth. If one were only judging by the film, he or she would think that Bella’s affections for Edward stem only from his physical appearance.
Because the film focuses so much on the romance between the Bella and Edward, the character development is weak. This is not wholly the actors’ faults. Kirsten Stewart can’t help the fact that her physical charms and grace make Bella’s clumsiness seem unconvincing. Pattinson, on the other hand, actually does a decent job with Edward’s initial awkwardness around Bella. His terse responses and madcap mood swings capture Edward’s reactions perfectly.
In terms of the cast, there is not too much to complain about. The cast as a whole is almost overwhelmingly attractive. Even the side characters who are given only a few minutes’ of screen time — like Jasper (played by Jackson Rathbone) ooze charisma. Needless to say, the film’s visual appeal is God’s gift to the fan-girls.
Despite the fact that Catherine Hardwicke fails to capture the essence of Edward and Bella’s relationship, Twilight will likely be successful. It does not mean that the film is superb. It is entertaining and there are amusingly awkward moments scattered throughout. As far as movies go, it is good at best. However, as one of my non-Twilight fans put it, “Robert Pattinson makes up for everything.”