After a huge amount of hype, the long awaited Twilight is finally here. Twilight, for many teenage girls, has been the most anticipated movie of 2008, with its takings at the US box office smashing most other films released this year. Although Twilight is mostly a film for those who have read the book and have knowledge of the story, I still found it quite an enjoyable film to watch.
Twilight begins with the introduction of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) while she narrates the story. Bella is living in Arizona with her mother and her stepfather until they decide to spend life on the road for a while, which doesn’t really appeal to Bella’s interests. In light of this, she decides to move to a small rainy town in Washington called Forks so she can live with her estranged father, Charlie (Billy Burke) – the town’s Sheriff – for a while.
Although she arrives at an awkward time of year, she manages to be wanted by all, and ends up bonding with a group of kids who are far friendlier than she seems ready for. They soon get onto the subject of the Cullens, a strange “family” of very pale-skinned, awkward, yet intriguing boys and girls, most interesting of who, to Bella, is Edward Cullen. One of the seemingly strangest things about the Cullens, to those who don’t know their real secret, is that they are all foster siblings and are “couples” who have been adopted by Dr. Cullen and his wife.
Bella is immediately fixated on Edward as she finds out that the reason he is without a partner is that “no girl is good enough for him”. It even seems as though he is repulsed by Bella at the start when they are assigned as lab partners and he storms out of the classroom and doesn’t come back for days on end. When he does finally return, his manner toward Bella is completely different and he is now being friendly. This once again triggers Bella’s curiosity, and she starts trying to get close to him.
The real catalyst for their relationship comes in the form of Edward saving Bella from a car crash and thus revealing that he has some strange abilities that are uncommon, to say the least. One thing leads to another, and as Edward reveals who and what he is (a “vegetarian” as the Cullen family only eats animals), we see a blossoming romance of a different kind. Because of Edwards’ lust for blood, he cannot allow himself too close to Bella still. So instead of doing what any other people in love would do, the couple can only spend time and talk with each other.
I thought the cast did a good job here in their portrayals of the characters. There were quite a few moments of unexpected humour in the film that I also enjoyed. It was mostly the subtlety of it that was most enjoyable – not hilarious but enough to evoke a chuckle.
For someone like me, who had no prior knowledge of the film or the story, it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as it seemed to be for the longtime fans, but it still delivered an interesting story. It did seem very slow-moving at times, seemingly drawn out to properly paint the picture for those first timers.
There was nothing particularly special about the cinematography or special effects here either, the worst of which was probably the effect used to portray the vampires’ speed. Here we see a strange blurred effect trailing behind the character as they shoot around at hyper speed, which I think would have been far better left out.
Though the film did tend to get slightly too lovey dovey toward the end, the movie still delivered on the whole. From the reactions in the cinema, the audience of Twilight fans seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, even cheering and giving it a round of applause at the end. It is definitely a film made for fans, but I believe it can also be enjoyed by all us non-fans too.
19 December 2008