Twilight is a success of monolithic proportions. You can’t move for want of screaming fans, abrasive merchandise and incessant natter regarding Robert Pattinson’s obnoxiously beautiful face.
I for one was happy to ignore this repellent b*ll*cks, contently drifting through my own bubbled existence only stopping to observe the phenomenon in the most brief and unsubstantial of circumstances. Recently however it has become impossible to blindside this nationwide outbreak.
No longer can I hold a steady conversation with someone without them mentioning this baffling franchise.
So finally, without any further option, I decided to see what the fuss is all about.
What you are about to read is an extended review of the first Twilight film, or, what I affectionately like to call, ‘Jonesy the Cat’s Analytical Rape of Twilight the Movie and Beyond’.
Translating Twilight from page to screen was always going to be a tricky operation. The book functions by way of audience projection, the characters so blank, bland and without purpose that it allows the reader to place their own personalities onto them.
What this essentially means is that Twilight is Dungeons and Dragons for emo kids, a slice of role-playing literature that appeals to the hearts of the awkward and the lonely, or in other words, teenagers.
The imperative danger of creating a cinematic adaptation is in changing what fundamentally works about the book. No longer will Edward Cullen and Bella Swan be blank vessels that you can pilot, now they will be given faces, faces alien to yours.
In an obvious but undeniably lucrative move by the studio, the roles were filled by the infuriatingly attractive Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart. The clever part of this being, an audience doesn’t care if you tamper with the characters as long as they look pretty as a result of it.
Legions of wailing fans have bleated out the many ways in which they would like to physically ravage the lead actors. This is, however, a hilarious irony considering the movie’s obvious and offensive abstinence moral.
Edward is ferociously attracted to Bella. The smell of her blood intoxicates him making it impossible to resist her wooden charms (though you would never guess considering the actors complete lack of sexual tension). However he will not bite her until they are married as the action will transform her into one of his vampiric brood.
The metaphor here is stick thin, embarrassing and bizarre. To strip it down to its bare bones is comically revealing; Edward will not EXCHANGE FLUIDS with Bella BEFORE MARRIAGE as it will FUNDEMENTALLY CHANGE her when it does. There you go kiddies, as if being a teenager isn’t confusing, frustrating and hard enough, now you are supposed to feel guilty about your base, animal urges.
Let me clarify (as if I needed to), sex is a completely natural thing for two people of consenting age to engage in, to demonize in the way Twilight does is not only stupid but reductive. But remember, stay safe…
Beyond the thinly veiled abstinence text, the film also offends due to an abundance of waist high plot holes.
To illuminate but one of these is nothing short of hilarious.
Early on, it is established that the local Native American community are aware that the Cullen family are vampires. To protect the interests of both parties, none of which are made particularly clear, a deal is struck in which the Native Americans agree to withhold the Cullen’s true identities from the general public. In exchange the immortal blood suckers must never feast upon human prey.
Years later Bella saunters onto the Native American preserve and jollies around their gift shop in search of anything that might help her to understand Edward’s strange behaviour. What she comes across is frankly perplexing… a book… a book that reveals everything about the vampire mythos and, subsequently, how to spot a vampire… The werewolf/Native American community have gone through the effort of researching, writing, publishing and selling a book that teaches you, in an indirect but never the less incriminating manner, how to spot a vampire.
Now I don’t know about you, but it seems like breaking the deal to me. It’s a clear, stiff and fervent middle finger directed straight at the Cullen family.
Incidentally, this could have been a very interesting plot point and note of contention between the opposing groups. Oddly, however, this is never spoken of again and therefore serves the sole purpose of exposition, to teach Bella and the audience about the rules of Twilight’s inconsistent and clumsy universe. This, is, very, bad, writing.
I could carry on, I could talk about the monotonous monochrome colour palette, I could talk about the fact that when Edward sprints he looks like the Road Runner. And I could talk about everything and nothing but at this point I would just be spewing vitriolic bile for the sake of my own bloated sense of self purpose.
I have intended this review to be not only a deconstruction of the movie itself, but a general deconstruction of what makes the Twilight Saga so horrible and ridiculous.
I’m not attacking the fans and by God I would never judge someone for taking enjoyment from this franchise. But I just cannot take this crap lying down any more.
Twilight is petty, stupid, boring, comical and petulant. It’s the worst cultural phenomenon since Big Brother and more abrasive to boot. But you know what, I honestly would not care one iota about Twilight’s astronomical popularity if it wasn’t for the offensive, underpinning message of it all.
At the end of the day Twilight is a weird, abhorrent meta-narrative that teaches people to fear sex and to remain with a violent, blood-sucking partner so long as you love them. Genuinely sickening stuff.
P.S. I couldn’t find an official trailer that had Embedding enabled, so I had to settle for one that ended with a couple of vacant mouth breathers spouting nothing about nothing… Enjoy:
Additional film information: Twighlight (2008)