The Armchair Critic

(Pretending to know everything)


Twilight - The Movie

Posted by Lee i.

Bella Swan (Kirsten Stewart) leaves sunny Phoenix, Arizona for Forks, Washington, one of the rainiest towns in the US. She expects to be miserable in a new town, a new high school, and a father she has only spent a few weeks each summer with. Until she meets the Cullens, that is. Glamorous, mysterious and quite aloof from the other students, the Cullens, particularly, the unattached Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) intrigue Bella.

It turns out the feeling is mutual. And though Edward, the self-proclaimed "most dangerous predator on the planet" tries to pull away, he is inexplicably attracted to Bella, no matter how clumsy she is or how flat she sounds in the movie). Despite that he is a vampire, who sparkles in the sunlight, his being a "vegetarian" (the Cullens feed only on animal blood) makes you feel that there is hope for the two yet. After all, he only has to resist making a meal out of Bella when they kiss and embrace passionately, so all should be well. That is, until other vampires who crave human blood come along, to emphasize the huge difference between the two. Bella's frailty and Edward's immortality.

This is the part when we should be drawn into the Romeo and Juliet-like love story. But I guess, I am too much a fan of the books to be drawn in completely.

Stephenie Meyers, the author of Twilight captured teenage angst and longing perfectly. The tension, sexual or otherwise, was quite palpable in the book. That was quite difficult to capture in a movie. I was quite surprised when Edward mentions that he has been watching Bella sleep for the past two months. That long? Nothing much has happened...

But then I tried to be forgiving, and to watch the movie though the eyes of someone who hasn't read the books. It delivers. Sure, many of the more fascinating details (like the individual personalities and histories) are missing, but all in all, one is able to appreciate the movie: human teenage girl meets immortal teenage vampire, they fall in love, must...overcome...obstacles, attend prom. And then a foreshadowing of a movie sequel. Good, good...can't get enough of Robert Pattinson (swoon).

Yup, I swooned, like any other Miriam colegiala in SM Marikina who cut classes, everytime there's a close-up of Robert. Although I did expect "and so the lion falls in love with the lamb" to have been delivered more dramatically.

Surprisingly, the character who made a huge impact on me is Jasper (and it's not only because I named our new puppy after him), but because, even without much speaking lines, you could plainly see his discomfort and apprehension at being with humans, whose blood he craves so much. At one scene, he swallows deeply, you can see his Adam's apple bob, when he smells Bella. Now that is acting. Hahaha.

There were lots of funny moments in the movie, too. A passionate kissing scene that was cut! No, not by Edward, but by the censors? (The movie trailers were more revealing - Kristen Stewart in granny panties - hehe.) An awesome baseball game and a final confrontation between the Cullens and nomad vampires.

When you do watch the movie, be smug that you actually read all four books, including the unfinished Midnight Sun. But don't expect the movie to follow the book entirely. There had to be some creative license on part of the screenwriter and the director to bring a 6-hour read into a two hour plus movie. You will enjoy it more.

And yes, watch it when all the teenagers are in school or safely home with their parents. It would be much quieter that way. Unless you are actually the one who does all the gasping and the shrieking.