Review: Twilight


Director:Catherine Hardwicke

Cast:Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser

Running Time:120.00


In 2005, author Stephanie Meyer created a fascinating story with a simple, even generic plot. Comparable to Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet,' Meyer's 'Twilight' revolves around a young girl who falls for the high school outcast. But instead of the families, it is the species that alienates one from the other. Through this unshakable boundary, both boy and girl must decide how deep their love truly is as a series of incidents will challenge their feelings and bring their unfortunate differences to the forefront. As a result, two high school adolescents are forced to grow up and make some of the most challenging decisions of their lives. Do they risk everything and live for one another? Or do they simply move on, forgetting that the romance ever existed? Either way, the journey has officially begun, and for fans of the highly popular series, the film could not have come soon enough.

With an immeasurable amount of hype and anticipation, there is little doubt as to whether the film will generate some cash flow. But unlike many other films, this is the first in a presumable series and a benchmark that the others will follow. Most importantly, it is the one that will prove whether the series of novels can successfully be brought to the big screen. There is a lot of weight on this film, and while I enjoyed both the literal and visible aspects, I see room for improvement and expect that most who read the books will come out of the theater disappointed and slightly bothered.

The lead characters, played by Kristen Steward and Robert Pattinson, have gotten a heavy wave of criticism since their initial announcement. To many die-hard fans, neither actor truly encompasses the essence and physical view of the characters created by Stephanie Meyers. Yet after watching the film, I found myself very intrigued by both stars. From their awkward, yet workable chemistry to their seamless progression within the realm of the story, both rising stars helped to bring the magical and chaotic world of Fork, Washington to life. Their growing love for one another is remarkably portrayed as they sit high atop the trees, looking out over the vast land, lost in tranquility and peace. Their movements are impulsive and reactive, creating a realness that goes far beyond their physical attributes. This makes their roles, to an uneducated Twilight viewer, dead on in terms of emotion and internal instinct.

Complimenting the two performances is the film's unique yet effective cinematography. Constantly playing with dark shades and amber tones, the film consistently carries a somber feel as you become aware that the lighting is a critical character within the film. Its presence is vital, though you can't quite figure out why. When looked at for a few moments, the visual aspect comes across as cheap and unfinished. However, when looked at throughout the course of the film, you can't help but sit back and appreciate just how miraculous the views are, as they set a tempo that not only works, but enhances the film tenfold. The enchanting view of the forest and the hideous sights that encompass the climatic ending sequence prove to be only a slight glimpse into the mystifying world that plays home to the present day love story.

The film, which is told from Bella's point of view and bears a strong narration from the independently minded young girl, takes audiences on an intriguing and sinfully addicting journey of self-discovery. But it doesn't stop there. Instead, the story plays home to a handful of backdrop story lines. These are not fully played out during the two hour film, but should resurface later as both the story and characters continue to grow and build upon themselves.

One of the more prominent side story lines is the pact made between the Cullen clan and the people of Fork, Washington. What is the pact? What are the repercussions of breaking the pact? And most of all, why is there a pact? None of these questions are answered, yet they are all strongly hinted at throughout.

As a result, the film only grazes the story, failing to go deep and uncover the many revelations that occur throughout the series. It is easy to forget that the film is only chronicling the events of the first novel. You must remember that beneath all the hype and anticipation, this film, much like the lead off book, is written off as nothing more than a character piece that serves as an introduction to the elements of the epic story; thus setting the stage for what is to come.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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