If you don?t have a teenage girl in the house, chances are that the Twilight phenomenon has passed you by. So let me begin the review by bringing you up to speed. Twilight is a romantic fantasy series written by Stephanie Meyer. The saga concerns a 17-year-old girl who falls in love with a stunningly beautiful boy, who just happens to be a vampire.
Despite being soul-mates, the two can never enjoy even a heavy-duty kiss because he might loose control and eat her.
The Twilight books have sold over 85 million copies. The film, which comes to us a year late, made over 300 million dollars worldwide and sold 8 million DVDs. The soundtrack sold 3.5 million copies. You get the idea: this isn?t a movie. It?s a movement.
Twilight is based on the first book of the series. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Twilight begins with Bella, played by Kristen Stewart, moving to a small town in the Pacific Northwest to live with her father. Her parents are divorced and her mother has decided to travel with her new husband.
Forks, Bella tells us, has exactly 3,120 people. And a few of these aren?t people at all. They are vampires.
But these aren?t those old school fanged beasts who sleep in coffins. These are sleek, pale, beautiful creatures who just seem a little more burdened than us.
Bella falls in love with Edward Cullen, the prettiest one of them all. Played by Robert Pattinson, Edward is a brooding, sensitive, Byronic rock star who can fly Bella up to the tree tops but he can never unleash his passion because the object of his desire also happens to be his food.
So Edward must be satisfied with Bella?s intoxicating presence alone. At one point, he tells her: "You?re like my own personal brand of heroin".
You don?t have to work too hard to read this scenario as a metaphor for sex. Edward and Bella are both passionately in love but also stoically chaste. He steals into her room at night but all they can do is talk and hug.
Hardwicke keeps the sexual tension at a steady simmer. This feverish, unconsummated love is Twilight?s hook.
Both Stewart and Pattinson are perfectly cast. Their intelligent performances and the moody camerawork make the film engaging to an extent.
I also enjoyed the dark humour ? when a nasty vampire figures out that Bella is human, he tells Edward: "so you brought along a snack".
But beyond a point, Twilight starts to feel like a Hindi movie without the songs.
It?s breathlessly melodramatic and in places, laughably silly. Like a Bollywood hero, Edward saves Bella from goons in a dark alley; when a group of rogue vampires comes after her, Bella is nasty to her own father only so she can leave home and protect him from them, plus of course they rarely kiss.
By the time, the climactic vampire battle in a hall of mirrors rolled around, I was bored and thinking about food myself.
Of course I?m not Twilight?s target audience. I think young girls and their mothers are going to love this film and especially Edward, who, despite his blood-thirsty nature, is the world?s safest boyfriend.
The rest of us can treat it as efficient popcorn entertainment.