Teen vampire book-turned-movie ‘Twilight’ struggles to stay true to its roots while banking on scenes that made it famous to carry the movie.’ In an action-packed story of vampires living amongst humans and the consequences of their interactions, Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ is indeed more than just a love story ‘- unless Hollywood is telling it.’
While the book’s themes subtly hinted at dark undertones about religion, life and death, the movie itself pushes forth the love story between the main characters at a much faster and forced pace.’
Unlike the age-old tale of vampires being incapable of resisting human blood, ‘Twilight’s’ starring vamps are self-proclaimed ‘vegetarians’ who feed on animal blood and live peacefully among humans.’ The story revolves around Isabella (referred to as Bella) Swan, the human girl who falls in love with vampire Edward Cullen.
Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella, expertly brought to life the clumsy, detached 17-year-old, believably tripping and falling throughout the movie. Upon meeting Edward, played by Robert Pattinson, and his ‘vegetarian’ family, her life irrevocably changes.’ ‘ ‘ ‘
Though many scenes were purported as serious, it would have had the intended effect if the editing wasn’t too heavy handed.’ The conversations between Edward and Bella were choppy and over edited, leaving out transitions to smooth the flowing dialogue.’
Combined with interweaved flickers of Pattinson’s facial expressions which were at times hard to believe and overtly exaggerated to the point of looking strange, in a fake, forced way it was more comical instead of suspenseful.’
The crucial scene where Edward smells Bella’s blood for the first time should have come across as if the smell burned like a grease fire in Edward’s throat.? Instead, Pattinson’s expression suggests a case of bad Chinese food.?
The baseball game unfolding on the big screen was the highlight of the movie, taking advantage of special effects to show the vamps’ super speed, strength and love for a sport about as old as the vampires themselves.
Although many details were omitted and things were changed, the juicier pieces of the story remained virtually the same but amplified with Hollywood flair.’ The special effect for the stimulation of super speed was up to par. Sadly, the same could not be said for the scene in which Edward glitters in the sun; a huge letdown.
The movie has strayed far from the grittier themes of death and the question of life after it, and sticks firmly to the exploitation of the romance itself.’ The flick doesn’t delve too deeply into the vegetarian vampire’s respect for life, lacking a key element to understanding why the Cullen’s refuse to kill humans and the humanity in the inhuman.
While Edward is quite serious about his eternal damnation, Pattinson’s flippant delivery of the line about going to hell came off far too light for such a heavy concept and did not even hint at the character’s quiet tortured conflictions with his love for her and the consequences of his actions.
The film stayed true to the love story between the human and the vampire but the script could have been written better than it was.’ Tragically it is not possible to fit Meyer’s 500 page novel into two hours and while changes were expected, it still did not fully live up to the true story of Twilight.
Without important scenes like one of Jacob’s warnings to Bella at prom and of Edward playing Bella’s lullaby on the piano (that were announced to be filmed as an after-thought) fans would have walked away a lot less satisfied.’ ‘
Whether or not the film followed the intricate side plots and storylines (like leaving out the James’ connection to the Cullen’s when Alice finally learns about her past and her maker), the main theme of love is invariably represented in the movie adaptation of the bestselling book.’
Four stars out of five.