Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy
Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Ashley
Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Cam Cigandet, Kellan Lutz, Anna Kendrick,
RunTime: 2 hrs 2 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Official Website: http://www.twilightthemovie.com/
Soundtrack: Our review of the official TWILIGHT movie soundtrack
Opening Day: 18 December 2008
"Twilight" is an action-packed, modern day love
story between a vampire and a human. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart)
has always been a little bit different, never caring about
fitting in with the trendy girls at her Phoenix high school.
When her mother remarries and sends Bella to live with her
father in the rainy little town of Forks, Washington, she
doesn't expect much of anything to change. Then she meets
the mysterious and dazzlingly beautiful Edward Cullen (Robert
Pattinson), a boy unlike any she's ever met. Intelligent and
witty, he sees straight into her soul. Soon, Bella and Edward
are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance.
Edward can run faster than a mountain lion, he can stop a
moving car with his bare hands – and he hasn't aged
all vampires, he's immortal. But he doesn't have fangs, and
he doesn't drink human blood; Edward and his family are unique
among vampires in their lifestyle choice. To Edward, Bella
is that thing he has waited 90 years for – a soul mate.
But the closer they get, the more Edward must struggle to
resist the primal pull of her scent, which could send him
into an uncontrollable frenzy. But what will Edward &
Bella do when James (Cam Gigandet), Laurent (Edi Gathegi)
and Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), the Cullens' mortal vampire
enemies, come to town, looking for her? Based on the Stephenie
Their names are Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. But you may just want to insert your name instead, in place of either Edward or Bella. Just as the young adult-lit phenomenal book that has spawned millions of fans worldwide did, Twilight the Movie invites you to live (or relive, depending on your age group) your adolescent fantasies of romance and passion.
Remember the times of shy awkward glances, of sighs and whispers, and of sometimes inexplicable deep stirrings of the heart for that boy/girl in high school you barely know? Yes, Twilight will make you muse over those same moments in your life, because that is exactly how Edward and Bella start out.
For the uninitiated, Bella Swan is the slightly introverted 17-year old who moves to the rainy, little town of Forks, Washington State to live with her divorced father. At her new school, Bella meets the dark and broody Edward Cullen who only always hangs out with his foster-siblings/clique of a similarly mysterious exterior. Edward is the kind of guy girls at school know how to admire only from afar.
But one smouldering exchange of looks between Edward and Bella sets the stage for something more between them. At Bella’s first biology class, when they are unexpectedly assigned to be lab partners, Edward bolts out as soon as class ends and disappears from subsequent lessons. Their romantic tension is literally too much for Edward to bear. I say, literally, because Edward is a vampire, and the sight (and scent) of Bella sets Edward tingling.
Edward comes from a family of vampires who control their lust for blood by feeding on animals instead of humans- the vampire equivalent of vegetarians, Edward so succinctly puts it. It’s laughable, no doubt, but Edward knows how to poke good fun at it. It’s kinda like eating tofu, he tells Bella.
Such down-to-earth moments in their romance however are no doubt rare- because Edward boasts great speed and strength, so a good part of their dating time is spent up in the air. Some of the most charming scenes have Edward and Bella up in the treetops, framed against the spectacular wilderness backdrop, leaping from tree to tree trading romantic quips that will surely leave girls swooning (and probably some guys cringing).
Perhaps quite understandably, the film inherits some of the book’s clunky dialogue, but what makes the movie adaptation a success is the outstanding performances of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart as Edward and Bella. Kristen Stewart brings the right blend of sensibility, ferocity and feeling to the role of Bella. And of course, Cedric Diggory from the Harry Potter series has matured into quite the leading man here, throwing himself into the role of Edward with equal intensity as his co-star. Indeed, the stars not only make their roles come alive, but share great chemistry with each other.
And this is definitely a blessing, given that director Catherine Hardwicke’s film can feel a little unwieldy at times. There are a lot of characters to juggle, presumably to set up the franchise for parts 2, 3 and 4, but this bloats the film’s 120-minutes running time. Luckily too that Hardwicke’s direction does have its flashes of brilliance.
As she so aptly demonstrated in her directorial debut Thirteen, Hardwicke knows how to capture teenage pangs and the first-third of Twilight shows just that. She also brings a kinetic sense of storytelling to Edward and Bella’s supernatural romance, aided immeasurably by Elliot Davis’ photography that circles and soars around the swoonsome pair. Kudos also to Carter Burwell’s score and the various other emo songs chosen from the movie that make the romance feel much more visceral on screen.
There is no question about the appeal of Twilight to its young fan base- it is unabashedly a teenage romance about the raw and sometimes extreme emotions we feel for that special someone. For the rest of us, it is a trip down memory lane, back to a time when love was sweeter, purer and more intense. Once in a while, it’s nice to be able to reminisce.
Review by Gabriel Chong
(Just when you thought it’s nice to have grown up, Twilight will make you wish you were young, love was passionate, and there was a certain vampire called Edward.)