Friday, October 7, 2011

Book and Movie Reviewed - Twilight

I decided to combine these two reviews, since A) they're about the same story, and B) who wants to read two different reviews for basically the same thing? So here we go.

For anyone who's been living under a rock for the past few years, Twilight is a story about a girl, Isabella Swan, who meets and falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen. You know, typical high school love story.

Actually, kind of, yes. The main characters are regularly overwhelmed with emotion, a very "high school" reaction to meeting a cute boy or a pretty girl. The explanation is that there's something special about Bella, her blood in particular, that makes her irresistible to Edward (and very appealing to other vampires as well). Which, okay, I mean, regular human dudes all want to get drunk with Minka Kelly, and regular human ladies all want Tom Brady to take them to the dance. So the concept of an innate attractiveness isn't so far-fetched.

The story is totally and completely a love story, which means that it's not going to appeal to everyone in every mood. When you're not of the right mind going in, the intensely strong emotions, teenage angst, and the countless obstacles to a "happy ending" can be frustrating, or downright depressing. But in the proper context of your own mind, it's an appealing story with some interesting, if fairly one-dimensional, characters.

As is often the case, the book offers a much deeper look at the inner workings of each character. You get to experience Bella's initial frustration, then watch as it slides over to curiosity, then grows to romance, and finally to...well, I don't want to call it "love," because it's something different from that. I don't believe that "love" can develop as quickly as things progress in this story. Something more like infatuation is what develops between Edward and Bella. But their devotion to each other is something that can only develop over time, and the movie just doesn't take long enough to show how it blossomed.

My other main qualm with the movie is that it occasionally features bizarre cinematography that I can only classify as "artsy." It's the kind of stuff that turned The New World into my least favorite movie of all time. I'm sure it was an attempt to set itself apart from other young adult books converted into movies (read: Harry Potter), but I've never been one to care much for nonstandard filming techniques or attempts at artistry using light layers or unique shuttering or whatever else movie people would call the stuff that they did. I just know that there were a few moments when I found myself colossally bored while the director explored different ways to film Robert Pattinson and the state of Washington. We get it, he's handsome, and the Pacific northwest is dreary.

That being said, as a guy (and one who's in a constant state of disillusionment when it comes to romance), some of the book dragged a bit. I get that the content was necessary to illustrate how deeply Bella was falling for Edward, but I wish the author had managed to have it manifest in a little more activity. Not action necessarily, just, something.

All in all, I'd rate the two equal when compared with other similar media. They were both solid, not the best, but entertaining.

The Last Word: I know I'm sort of behind the times, so my recommendation mostly falls on ears that already made their decision regarding the book and movie, so the most I could offer is, if you've seen/read one, but not the other, go for it. You'll enjoy it.

1 comment:

Sim said...

I happened across your blog today and found your Twilight review interesting. I haven't read the book OR seen the movie but I'm fascinated with the process of transforming books into films. I had the same problem with the cinematography with the film version of The Lovely Bones! An amazing book but all the CGI and artsy stuff they used in the movie really took away from the story. I've just started a blog I'm calling which is a look at this kind of stuff. I'll be back to visit! Thanks, Sim

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