Saturday, 20 December 2008

Twilight

Blood draining...

Moving to Forks, Washington to live with her father, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) becomes interested in the Cullen siblings. One sibling does catch her attention, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), but his quick and apparent mood swings begin to annoy her. After much pushing for information, Bella learns that Edward is a vampire.

Being an adaptation from a novel which has become quite popular among teenagers, mostly female, one would expect the story's translation to hold true to its source material as best as possible. It's hard to believe that it does at all because the story contained in the film is ultimately bland. There is no depth, no complexity to the plot, no intriguing characterizations: just a simple love story which doesn't hold much in terms of credibility. And this is because character motivations are never fully established. While the love Edward and Bella have for one another is easily based on outwards attraction and grows into something meaningful, the haste at which both characters are able to confide in and accept one another is unreasonable. At one point Bella is attracted to Edward, just to have him act cruel to her, then to find out he's a vampire and still place her complete trust in him that he won't harm her. While their love is touching in a Romeo and Juliet sort of way, that does not stop it passing off as completely illogical and idiotic. Still there is a certain quickness to it all that does make for an interesting watch at times for the concept itself is a fascinating one.

The acting doesn't fare any better. Side characters are merely caricatures and the main characters are underdeveloped so it is no wonder that the level of acting is average. Kristen Stewart comes off as far too disinterested in absolutely everything. At first it seems acceptable when she doesn't which to be bothered much by people at school or her father, but when she is somehow madly in love with Edward her monotonic representation remains static. There are times where she attempts to put some life into her character but this is rare. Pattison fares better and seems to get the nervousness of Edward fairly well, and the same applies to when he is intent on saving Bella. But his constant exchanges at love for Bella are not entirely convincing. That is not to say that there is no chemistry between both Stewart and Pattison for there is. It is just not in the form you would expect but more like both are forced to be in love.

From a technical standpoint the direction of the film works at times but the music and special effects do not. Director Catherine Hardwicke has a very unique way in her vision of the novel. Her direction yields a simple naturalness to it, losing the classic constructed feel of most films. It does come across as appealing to watch at times but it does become a bit much by the films end. You'll either enjoy the direction to wish for a more natural feel. Regardless of preference neither would have made the film any better. The music is also another love-hate item. The music selection sounds far too forced, as if trying to capture a certain mood for the film's atmosphere which doesn't work. There's a classical element to it, as if yearning to have a connection to Bram Stoker's Dracula and is nice distraction from the angst feel of the film. Lastly there are the special effects which are noticeably unrealistic. There is a blur given to any vampire character that moves fast, but it looks more like blurred fast forwarding and thus rather unnatural looking.

No vampire film is really all complete without some sexual connotations and violence: both are included in low form. Language is also kept low and nudity is a no-go area considering the target audience.

Twilight is a vampire story which is caught in a midst of smoke. With its average story, average acting, average music but interesting direction, it has neither the cruel seductiveness of Dracula nor the morbid fascination of Interview with the Vampire. With its superficial layering Twilight presumes to be more valuable to modern day teen life then both but, simply put, is not.

5/10

Screen date: 19 December 2008
Release date: 19 December 2008

3 comments:

Farzan said...

The only real Vampire movies are the first two Blade films.

CruizD said...

Oh right! Blade! Can't believe I forgot about him :P

Anonymous said...

Ah no ways blade was a action vampire film was cool but Blade 2 sucked so hard its a joke.

For me it would be interview with a vampire and something like Vampires (came out late 90s)