We’re in college now, folks, and with maturity, warm and fuzzy must give way to the dark and broody. Say what you will of its anti-feminist undertones and trite teenage melodrama, any movie that can inspire a room full of teenage girls and college ladies and gentlemen to laugh, sigh, and cry (or at least mist) is worth a view. A tweeny masterpiece of pop culture, Twilight is everything you could want in a Valentine’s Day viewing – pining, heroism, frustration and the triumph of love over common sense.
When withdrawn Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves in with her police captain father in the rainforests of Forks, Washington, she believes she is fated to live out her high school days lonely and misunderstood.
But when a life-threatening car crash throws Bella into the superhuman arms of pale beauty Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), life in Forks becomes more than dodging proms. Edward and Bella become more involved, drawn together by some inexplicable force (which we could chalk up to puberty under normal circumstances), and Bella uncovers the secret known to each man, woman and child not in complete social isolation for the past two years: she has fallen in love with a vampire.
For Twilight bookworms, the romantic relationship in the film is a bit shallow, but for the everyday lover of vampire romance, it fits the genre. Whichever group you belong to, you can forgive a somewhat humdrum portrayal of author Stephanie Meyer’s intriguing plotline. After all, the movie’s simplicity leaves much more brain space for daydreaming of white picket fences and sparkling bat babies.
As the hunky lead, Pattinson is more than mouthwatering. An obvious study in the fine art of toiling emotion, Pattinson leaves every viewer wanting more in his portrayal of the beleaguered bloodsucker. Meanwhile, his female opposite, Stewart, wants for, well, emotion of any kind. Apart from the two leads, Edward’s vampiric family is a delight, demonstrating that casting based solely upon looks doesn’t always go awry.
As with the lovers’ relationship, the movie as a whole moves a bit quickly and condenses more story than necessary for the overall plot progression. While we could have done without the various vampire-related deaths (which were completely plot-unrelated), we can understand the sense of danger movie-makers were attempting to portray.
Twilight is a delightful treat for anyone looking to slip away from the greasy Chinese food to fill up on angst-ridden teen love. But be forewarned: it may leave you hungry for more.