Sunday, November 23, 2008


I'm going to begin my review with my rating this time. After watching Twilight, I was struck by the feel, which seemed targeted to the teen crowd. However, this love story has some very artistic elements that appealed to me. So I am splitting my rating. If you are a fan of television shows like Dawson's Creek, Beverly Hills 90210 or 7th Heaven then my rating should read five stars. I have never been a fan of those shows and I am not in the target age group for this film...having said that, I would still give Twilight a solid four star rating. The film is well presented.

Twilight is based on the teen novel of the same name, written by Stephanie Meyer. I was impressed enough by this film to visit Barnes and Noble afterwards, in order to purchase the next book in the series, New Moon. When the next film comes out, I hope to be ready. The books are part of a four part series, which is also available as a boxed set at Barnes and Noble for a mere eighty dollars. After purchasing New Moon, I saw it at Walmart for under eight dollars for the paperback version.

Twilightis a classic love story. The vampire theme is the vehicle for telling the story. The female lead, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), moves to Forks, Washington, to live with her dad rather than traveling around the country with her mother who has re-married to a minor league baseball player. Forks is a small town of 3,000 nestled in the rough country of Washington. The rugged terrain provides a beautiful backdrop for a coming-of-age story. Bella is new to her High School, having transferred in the middle of the school year. She is the big story in a rather small school. The boys show an early interest in her, but she is captivated by a boy that initially gives her the cold shoulder. The boy, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), is in the constant company of his two brothers Emmett (Kellan Lutz) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and his two sisters Alice (Ashley Greene) and Rosalie (Nikki Reed).

The five siblings sit together in the lunchroom and have an uneasy familiarity with each other. Most of the kids in school tend to avoid the group, although several of the girls secretly admire Edward. Edward and Bella develop an unusual relationship that begins to spiral out of control. Bella begins to suspect things are not as they seem and presses the issue until she realizes that Edward is a vampire. A revelation that would cure most people's curiosity. Not Bella. Bella reveals to Edward that she knows his identity and that it does not scare her. The two form a deep but seemingly benign relationship that ultimately places Bella in grave danger. It also places Edward in the difficult position of having to make life and death decisions regarding Bella.

The writing in Twilight is exceptional. I am not certain how true to Meyer's novel Melissa Rosenberg was able to remain, but the writing reflected the dimension of a novel writer. The characters were well developed and captivating. The plot was full of smaller storylines that provided insights and depth to the story. The dialogue was soft and artistic yet believable. The interaction between characters seemed natural. The believability factor was excellent for a story about the supernatural. The exchanges and dialogue never felt forced or even coerced. There was smooth flow of both the plot and the dialogue that made the film feel like a well produced artistic endeavor.

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Nick said...

You might wanna read the book version of Twilight before you get into New Moon, if you're intent on reading the books. There's a couple things left out of the movie version that will probably confuse you if you continue on in the series, specifically some stuff about the rest of the Cullen family (Alice and Edward aren't the only ones with powers, for instance).

Otherwise, my only other warning would be not to go into New Moon expecting what you got in Twilight. I loved Twilight the first time I read it, but loathed New Moon with every fiber of my being. The only reason I didn't just give up on it was due to a hope that the other two books would be better.

And to answer your question... no, the movie is slightly different in writing than the book. The books are actually written pretty crappily, which is why I figure the movies will be a ton better than the book series.

John Smith said...

Thanks for the feedback. I haven't started reading yet but have seen some poor reviews for the book. At least I can lower my expectations BEFORE I get twenty pages into the book.