Friday, August 21, 2009

Twilight The Movie

I have now seen the movie of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight - and I must say, they did a good job of portraying the story, in my opinion. The major points were there - of course they had to skip some minor plot lines, and merge some things (the Sadie Hawkins-type dance with the prom) and leave some details out (the whole secret of going to the prom). The vampire/effects were pretty good - I sorta expected a little more from the baseball game, but it was fun anyway.

I wonder if you haven't read the book if you get the full experience. Somehow, when an author describes the look of someone's face and then the emotions behind it, you get a full idea - but on screen you just have to imagine what the actor is trying to show. When the actor is very very good, you are likely to get a closer idea, but even then it's so subjective. In the book, when she describes Edward seeing Bella and his reaction to her in class, you know more about what is going on than when you watch the movie and see the actor look like he might hurl. What, was his lunch bad? really, it's not that clear.

The actress did a good job, in my opinion, of showing Bella's insecurities but not as good a job showing her budding teen-love feelings for Edward. More than once I wanted to tell her to close her mouth. There was so much angst there, and not as much feeling for Edward. Edward, on the other hand, showed more of his true feelings for her. It did seem to rush from "oh, we can't be together" to "I'm taking you to meet the family" - again, on screen there isn't the luxury of time like in a book.

I wasn't sure what the point was of showing the other vampires as practically incestuous couples with commentary from Bella's friends, since they really didn't go into how the vampires lived. Jasper and Emmett were truly back-seat characters, practically wallpaper, and really none of the vampires, including Edward but especially J & E, fit the book description in my own head - beautiful, attractive, tall, strong. I realize my own standards are very different from today's teens, so I guess that's part of it.

The movie focuses mostly on Bella and Edward, with very little interaction with the other human teens, and not much more with the Indian teen Jacob who warns Bella about Edward. In fact, he never does tell her - she finally reads about the Indian legend online. Bella moves to Forks, starts school, meets Edward. Edward tells her in dialog much of what she discovers about them so that we don't have to wait long for her to figure it out. They spend time together, he takes her to the family ball game and BAM the Others show up and Bella's life is in danger.

And once again, a heroine with no talent at all for saving herself manages to decide she knows what is best and ditches the vampires to meet The Other and her own death to save the hero. Where do these heroines get these ideas... I must say, in the audio book, the case is made that she does have to get away to save her mother, whereas in the movie - well, she just walks away without all the buildup, without all the information about what is really happening and how the vampires are there protecting her, and meets the Other where he menaces her. I didn't get a true feeling of the danger she was in or even that she felt she was facing her death, in spite of the voice over.

I am giving it my personal 3 star rating - liked it, didn't love it, but I had a good time watching. I found the young actors engaging if not personally attractive, and the vampire effects fun.

No comments: