Thursday, December 25, 2008
When watching a movie that is clearly not intended for you, it's best to let yourself flow with it and judge it on its own merits rather than on pre-conceived notions or prejudices. So with that in mind I walked into a screening of Twilight, clearly aimed at the tween female audience, expecting to watch a vampire-love-story - and it actually turned out to be exactly that! So, in essence, it was not disappointing.
Twilight is the first movie in a four-part saga adapted from Stephenie Meyer's best selling books, and is mostly depicted and narrated from the viewpoint of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). Bella is the beautiful girl-next-door type that exists only in movies. She moves in with her Dad, Chief of Police at Forks, Washington and joins the local high-school where she eventually befriends Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) who turns out to be a vampire.
The Cullens, family of seven including a father & mother figure with adopted "children", are good vampires who are just trying to live a normal life in a city that keeps them away from the sun as much as possible. But there are Vampires of the bad kind too and do make the essential appearance. Yet it is mostly Forbidden Love that keeps Bella and Edward as the center of attention in this tale.
As vampire movies go Hardwicke has made an interesting movie that, while realizing there is not much new in the source material to add to the myth, concentrates on the relationship and dilemma of Bella. And barring a melodramatic outburst, Kirsten Stewart succeeds in delivering a performance that mostly requires her to look inquisitive and pretty. Robert Pattinson, on the other hand, has to be the most underwhelming B-actor to debut in a box office phenomenon. Apart from the confused/constipated look that he sets a new standard for, Pattinson's performance has "wannabe" stamped all over it; definitely something that does not add to his portrayal of a vampire. Most of the other actors are acceptable in performances that would be equally at home in a TV series. The one that does stand out is Peter Facinelli as Dr Carlisle Cullen, Edward's foster father. Facinelli, although on screen for four scenes, plays his character of a vampire trying to be good with a cool resonance and more importantly, looks the part.
Hardwicke's movie will please the target audience, that there is no doubt about. It's quite visible in the way she harmonizes the scenes - the colors, music & visuals are very soft and pleasing to the senses. It makes Twilight an easy time at the movies - there's no intelligence here, but no stupidity either.
My rating --> 3 of 5