Monday, 21 September 2020
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 00:00

ThumbnailI’ve been shamelessly hiding my head in the pages of a series of books lately that seem to have appeared out of nowhere and joined the ranks of cult-classics like the Harry Potter. The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer may not earn quite as prominent a spot on my bookshelf as the boy wizard, but they are certainly doing the trick to get me hooked. I was anxiously awaiting the movie adaptation but was a little disappointed with what I saw on the big screen.

I joined the herds of teenagers on opening night, feeling older than ever amidst two sold-out screening rooms of youths. The excitement was palpable as the girls gossiped about Edward the sullen vampire hero, and the boys no doubt simply enjoyed being so outnumbered by girls. I have to say one of the most exciting moments for me was seeing the preview for the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for the first time! That made my night!

So what is all the hype? Well, Twilight is about seventeen-year-old Bella Swan who moves to a dreary town called Forks to live with her dad. She’s a bit introverted and prefers time to herself, especially when confronted by so many curious new classmates. But one person intrigues her more than any other – a pale faced, rude boy named Edward. It seems that he can’t stand being around her, but little does she know it’s because her blood drives him wild! Edward is a vampire, but figuring that out doesn’t stop her from feeling the chemistry between them and soon the two are head-over-heels in love, bringing danger to Bella and her family.

The actors are close to how I picture the characters, but unfortunately none of them bring anything very exciting to their roles. Kristen Stewart tries to be introspective and thoughtful but comes across as dull and listless. The looks the part, but the spark of the Bella Swan from the books is just not there. Robert Pattison as Edward Cullen also has the looks (although what is with those pasted on eyebrows!?) but does a terrible job acting! His supposedly smoldering gaze was mostly comical and the whole audience was laughing during some scenes where he shares an “intense” eye-lock with Bella. The rest of the cast is mediocre at best, and some are just downright terrible choices.

ThumbnailAs for the rest of the film Twilight goes between moments of brilliance, which are few and far between, to moments of sheer ridiculousness. It follows the book somewhat accurately but gets the pacing all wrong and winds up feeling plodding in parts and rushed in others. It’s unfortunate with written material so rich to wind up with a movie that feels slapped together. And then there is the fact that Bella comes across as being unhealthily obsessed with her blood-drinking boyfriend, while he is extremely controlling. The books are similar in this way, but at least we can read what Bella is thinking and that she does have a mind of her own. In the movie all we have are Kristen Stewarts slack-jawed expressions.

Overall, fans of the books will want to check out Twilight no matter what I say. But be warned, the movie is entertaining but just doesn’t stack up.