Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie. At school in her science class, she finds herself buddied with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) a mysterious boy to whom she is strangely attracted. As she gets to know him, she discovers that Edward is a 180 year old vampire. Edward is deeply attracted to Bella - physically and emotionally. The smell of her human blood is almost overwhelming. But Edward's father has taught his vampire children that to kill humans for food is immoral and they have lived on animals hunted in the nearby woods.
Edward knows that, if he gives in to his sexual desire for Bella, his vampire instincts will take over and he will kill her to drink her blood. So he decides to resist and, although their friendship deepens, there is a constant temptation beneath the surface that each must resist.
Complicating all this is the arrival of a band of renegade vampires who put Bella's life in danger. Edward's family rally around her to try to protect her. Will they be able to save her? And will Edward succumb to temptation?
I really enjoyed Twilight. The fresh approach to the vampire tradition is engaging. Stewart and Pattinson both inhabit their roles well and, apart from one overacted scene from Stewart and a shaky start from Pattinson, are great. The tinges of horror keep the suspense going at the right times. The sexual tension is taut and well handled. It is a rare narrative that makes self-discipline and restraint the dominant plot device! And the photography is beautiful as Edward transports his love interest above the tree tops and then down into the forests.
The two lead roles are obviously attractive if the teenage audience in the cinema was anything to go by — particularly when Edward first appears on the scene. A cheer ascended the moment he walked into view.
Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon who earned her degree in literature at Brigham Young University. She has stated that she wrote the Twilight book following a dream she had of a vampire who fell in love with a girl but also thirsted for her blood. On the front cover of the Twilight book there is a red apple held in two hands. Inside the book there is a biblical reference to the tree of knowledge of good and evil found in the opening chapters of the Genesis. Here is what Meyer says about the apple symbolism:
The apple on the cover of Twilight represents "forbidden fruit." I used the scripture from Genesis (located just after the table of contents) because I loved the phrase "the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil." Isn't this exactly what Bella ends up with? A working knowledge of what good is, and what evil is. The nice thing about the apple is it has so many symbolic roots. You've got the apple in Snow White, one bite and you're frozen forever in a state of not-quite-death... Then you have Paris and the golden apple in Greek mythology—look how much trouble that started. Apples are quite the versatile fruit. In the end, I love the beautiful simplicity of the picture. To me it says: choice.
Choice — that does indeed summarise the theme of Twilight. It's a good yarn and there's lots of thinking to be done about the theme of choice — not only in the movie but in our own lives as well.
My Rating: **** (out of 5)
'A sometimes girlie swirl of obsession that will delight fans, this faithful adaptation is after teenage blood, and will most likely hit a box office artery.' - Will Lawrence/Empire
'I've had mosquito bites that were more passionate than this undead, unrequited, and altogether unfun pseudo-romantic riff on Romeo and Juliet.' - Marc Savlov/Austin Chronicle
some violence and a scene of sensuality
More movie recommendations
Two friends get lost in a desert. A demanding movie that (very) slowly arrives at a devastating ending. (***1/2) - DVD
The Secret Lives of Dentists
A quirky drama about a dentist who believes his wife (also a dentist in partnership with him) is having an affair. We see him dealing with it in his imagination in the person of a client who becomes his alter ego. (***1/2) - DVD
The story of the UK television presenter, David Frost's, famous interviews with US President Richard Nixon where Frost manages to elicit a confession from the President about his role in Watergate. (****)
An on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. A TV journalist covering the life of fire fighters during a night shift is called to an apartment block where some strange behaviour is being reported. When it is discovered that a virus is loose, the building is quarantined and no one can get out. Things go from bad to worse. (****)
A sweeping drama set in Australia during the Japanese invasion of Darwin in early 1940s. An English woman travels to Australia to prevent the sale of her and her husband's station. Very enjoyable. (****)
The Lemon Tree
Set on the border between Israel and Palestine. A newly elected Palestinian government official moves to a residence where, across the border on the fence line, is a lemon orchard run by a widowed Israeli woman. To improve security, plans are made to cut down the lemon orchard. The woman decides to take the official to court. A pleasant and moving story. (***1/2)