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Sunday, October 04, 2009


I watched it, finally.
Because I didn't set my hopes very high, I wasn't disappointed.
I guess, because there had been such a big song and dance about 'Twilight' and since I'd heard teenage girls saying things like: 'Oooh, Edward!', 'Oh my gosh, Edward.', and seen pictures of a pale-faced guy hovering over a fairly normal-looking school girl, I was ready for an emotionally-charged movie full of smoldering guys and drooling girls - not my cup of tea, to say the least.
And for anyone who may want to challenge me on my liking for period dramas - with particular reference, if you're being specific, to North & South and Pride & Prejudice - it's an insult to those movies to compare them with Twilight.
Because it's really late (11:10pm to be exact) I'll bullet point my thoughts on Twi.

1. Isabella Swann/Bella has: A poorly-formed character. There is little getting-to-know-the-heroine time. As a concession to a character, Meyers made her clumsy, anti-social and humourless.
What you see of her character is almost always in the context of conversations (or sneaky glances) between her and Edward, the pale, jaw-jutting hero. Through these stilted conversations, Bella shows her obsessive traits. For example, she's not content to leave Edward alone - but stresses over whether he's at school or not, and when he's at school she's always.. staring at him. Eugh. Not only this, but she goes full speed into a relationship with a vampire - don't try this at home, kids. She doesn't seem to care about the consequences, the danger or the morals of the issue.. one wonders whether she has even thought about these things.

2. Edward Cullen. His chief characteristics are: following Bella around to tell her to stay away from him/declaring that they should never be friends, glittering in the sunlight (bizarre, but a wise alternative to becoming ashes) changing eye-colour (I found the golden-brown eye contacts Pattison wore alarming), crawling up trees with Bella and saving her from perilous situations. Very similar to kids stories where the hero always turns up at the right time to save the Damsel In Distress (see Snip for more info.) Oh, and did I mention he's a vampire?

3. Edward's problem. He's a vampire, he's in love with Bella, and he most desperately wishes to DHB. (Drink Her Blood). Since he cannot both love Bells and DHB as well, he has to abstain.
(Abstinence 101)
The other thing he's got to cope with is that Bella most un-Victorian-ly throws herself at him.
Fortunately for him, he's from an age when pre-marital relations were totally unacceptable. He is faced with one of two options therefore: stay with Bella and eventually kill her - or leave her. No third option because Bella, completely unable to do without him and unconcerned by the danger, won't leave him.
Right. On to a couple of the things I felt were wrong in this movie.

1a - This movie is exactly the kind of thing that all teenage girls and boys should be kept away from. My reasons:
This move apparently upholds 'abstinence'. However, Bella's obsessiveness in this relationship, the overtly sensual tone of the whole movie, and the very fact that 'abstinence' is so strongly shoved into what could have been an innocent friendship makes this movie very R18. In fact, I would prefer that no one watch this.

Bella surrenders her mind to Edward - she may have started out with a poor character, but by the time the movie's over she has nothing, she just wants to spend the rest of eternity with him, being eternally damned.. She has no control over her emotions. Because of this she lets them lead her to do all sorts of stupid things.
What a great message that's sending to kids desperate to get into the boyfriend-girlfriend thing.

One of my biggest problems with this movie is the blurring between good and evil. Edward is portrayed as being a 'good vampire' - an alarming concept since traditionally vampires are those living dead (zombies?) that are eternally damned.
But here's Edward - and how could anyone so handsome be wicked?

It's really important I think to have clear lines between good and bad in stories. Once you start getting 'good vampires' and 'bad vampires' in stories, a message is going out to impressionable teenage minds that there is good occult and bad occult. For instance, seeing the future, reading people's minds and being eternally damned is okay, if you're a 'vegetarian vampire' (haha, whatever next? In the next movie, New Moon, will there be vegan and fruitarian vampires?).

I don't think it's wise to mix good and bad in that way. Anyone agree/disagree?
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