Saturday, November 22, 2008

Living in the "Twilight" zone. . .

So today I had the opportunity to experience, and participate in, an important piece of pop culture. I just saw one of the fall's most anticipated movie releases (now that Harry Potter's postponed until next summer): Twilight.

I should start off by saying that I dearly love the Twilight books (with the exception of "Breaking Dawn" which just didn't do it for me). I have read and re-read those books over and over again. Okay, really I've only read them several times each, but still. I was anticipating and dreading this movie all at the same time because I was so scared that I was going to be disappointed by seeing something near and dear to my heart ruined. However, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was afraid it'd be. However, instead of just talking about this, I mean to use this as my official movie review. I've never done an official review before, so bear with me!

For anyone unfamiliar with Twilight, the basic premise is that a human girl falls in love with a vampire. However, he's not a traditional vampire as he and his family are "vegetarians," so to speak, and choose to exist on the blood of animals rather than humans. The conflict in Twilight is that Edward is in love with Bella and wants to be near her, but a large part of him also wants to drink her blood which "sings" for him, meaning she's his ultimate match. In spite of this, the book still boasts some steamy scenes. . .

The movie opens with Bella packing all of her stuff as she prepares to move from Phoenix to Forks, Washington. She meets up with her father, Charlie, chief of the Forks Police Force. Charlie's life pretty much consists of work, watching sports and eating at the local diner. I'm going to stop right here and interject that I really like Kristen Stewart as Bella. I think she plays Bella's understated character very well. I also liked the guy who played Charlie, even though I can't remember his name.

Bella starts out at Forks High School, and everyone is really excited to meet her, especially males. She's mystified on her first day at the unearthly beauty of the mysterious Cullen family who pretty much keep to themselves. I have to say that I wish it were possible to really portray the full beauty of the Cullens. Although I think they got the actors for most of the Cullens right, with the exception of Edward and Jasper, I didn't really feel the sense of mystery they're shrouded with because they looked kind of regular. Oh well!

I know there's been a lot of hype about Robert Pattinson playing Edward, and it's really that you love him or you hate him. I couldn't stomach him as Edward. He wasn't nearly dreamy enough (or let's be honest--bulked out enough) to be the fabulous and super attractive Edward Cullen. My roommate and I thought he got the brooding aspect of Edward okay, but otherwise he was pretty much lacking. The guy playing Jasper wasn't what we had pictured either, but again, there's not much we can do about that.

On the whole I liked the movie. I thought it flowed well, had good characterization and acting and the music complimented the action nicely. One of my favorite aspects of it was the funny lines such as the one where Edward says, "The lamb fell in love with the lion." Bella replies, "What a stupid lamb." and Edward answers, "What a masochistic lion." Everyone in the theater was laughing at that! There were quite a few other scenes like that too, and I think it made the movie much more pleasurable.

My roommate and I had a four-way conversation with our former roommate and her sister about the movie just before I started this post. One of the things her sister pointed out that I agree with was that the movie didn't do a good enough job portraying Edward's true conflict of being with Bella, the sexual tension between the two of them wanting to be together but Edward not yet sure he has enough control (over his desire for her blood) to do so. In the movie it was more like, "I want to eat you!" and that was it. You can't expect every detail to make it into the movie when the book is over 550 pages long but still.

I think I've rambled so much that I'm not even sure I communicated my central point. The movie was good, and I would recommend all true Twilighters or Twilight girls ;) see it, but go with the full understanding that no matter what you're expecting, it's going to be different. If you're like me, you'll have to continue searching for the perfect Edward because I don't think you'll find him in this movie. I am grateful to participate in this important part of pop culture while it's still very much in its initial hype. . .

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