Monday, December 22, 2008
Each generation has fallen in love with vampire lore. Over the years, vampires have grown from frightening monsters, to erotic sex symbols. The most infamous: Bram Stoker’s formidable Dracula…Anne Rice’s sensual Lestat…and Joss Whedon’s brooding Angel. The twenty-first century has given birth to Stephenie Meyer’s heartthrob vampire, Edward Cullen.
Twilight the movie (based on the Twilight Saga novels), revolves around the tug-and-pull relationship between two star-crossed lovers . . . the super-cool vampire, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson); who has been seventeen for “a while” . . . and his lust-interest, the young, vulnerable human, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart); the girl with average good looks and a mouth-watering scent.
If you come to the theatre expecting to see blood, guts, gore, sex, and fangs, you will be highly disappointed. Although action-packed moments are scattered about, Twilight is not your average vampire blood-letting tale. It is instead, a love story between two tormented, lonely souls…a meeting of soul mates…and to the movie’s credit it never lets you forget that love drives the plotline.
Considering that the 544 page novel was condensed to a mere two hours, the movie stayed relatively true to the book; even using many lines from Meyer’s original dialog. In the novel, Bella often refers to Edward as an angel. In one of my favorite scenes, Edward and Bella encounter each other for the first time in the Chemistry Lab. Edward’s chair is situated in front of a Snow Owl, and throughout the scene, it appears as if Edward is sporting angel wings.
Though the script is steeped in teen-angst, I was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of humorous moments. The dry-wit of Bella’s father (Billy Burke) was dead-on funny…from the gun cleaning scene to the running joke about the pepper spray.
Alas, many of the “little moments,” that made the book so endearing to its fans, were excluded. Like the critical triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob (which was played-down), as was the interaction between Bella and her human classmates. Overall, the book’s main plot points were there: the chemistry lab encounter, the truck accident, the baseball game, the sparkle, and the final vampire showdown.
I was also grateful that there was indeed a mutual sense of attraction between Pattinson and Stewart. Their portrayal of Edward and Bella stayed true to their characters’ passionate natures. Edward Cullen (one of the few vampires with a last name) remained a fangless, walk around on a cloudy day, never slumbering, impervious to death by sun, vampire…with control over his bloodlust for human plasma. And, the human lead, Bella Swan, remained the angst-ridden, awkward teenage girl that he craved.
The biggest faux pas was the Cullen’s house. With the studio already gearing up for the second movie in the saga, the director should have known that the house plays a major role in the future books. It propels the action. It was a beautiful house, but it was not the “right” house, nor, more importantly, it was not the correct setting
In the end, “Twilight”, the movie, is a love story, plain and simple. Does it have bloodsucking vampires? Is there murder and mayhem? Does it tell the tale of an immortal wishing to overpower the life of a sweet young mortal? Yes, yes, yes! Still, Twilight transcends the stereotype boy-bites-girl bloody vampire feast. After all, in the end, all that matters is love.
Oh, and if you overhear someone asking if they brought a snack…you might want to move to the next row.