Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

November 20, 2009

Love story with bite

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 4:20 am

November 20, 2009

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

One year since it seduced its mostly teenage fan base across the world, Twilight, the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire romance arrives at cinemas in India this week.

First in a series of book-to-film sequels, Twilight, directed by Catherine Hardwicke stars Kristen Stewart as Bella Swann, a shy teenage girl, the daughter of a broken marriage, who’s shunted from her mother in Arizona to her father in Washington state. The typical ‘new girl’ at school, she’s neither your geeky outsider, nor what you’d call a social magnet. When she spots a tall, incredibly pale boy, Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson) glowering at her in the cafeteria, her heart skips a beat. Turns out, Edward is a brooding vampire who belongs to a family that considers themselves ‘vegetarian’ – meaning they’ve sworn to drink only the blood of animals, even though human blood gives them greater satisfaction.

So when Edward and Bella fall in love, sex is out of the question. Edward knows that if things were to get too hot and sweaty with Bella, he might end up killing her. “I can’t ever lose control with you,” he tells her, in the film’s one unrequited bedroom scene, which barely progresses beyond a kiss. For most of the film the two leads simply gaze at each other longingly. In the classroom, by the sea, in a car park, up a tree. Just about everywhere.

I can see many parents wishing their young daughters found a boy like Edward Cullen instead of the horny teenagers they end up dating. The girls get all the love and attention they crave without any of the messy complications of an actual physical relationship.

Anyway, Edward and Bella spend much of the film getting to know each other, trying to figure out how this whole vampire-human equation could work. Most of the time it involves him saving her life – from a speeding truck in the school parking lot, to rapists on a desolate street. Everything’s going just fine, until a group of heathen vampires who still prefer human blood appears out of nowhere, and one of them decides to make Bella his prey.

Despite the inherent cheesiness of its plot, Twilight works primarily as a love story, thanks to the performances of its principals, but mostly because it treats teen confusion without a hint of condescension. Edward and Bella’s love story plays out almost as an epic, sweeping romance, and director Catherine Hardwicke reconjures the original novel as a gloomy mood piece filled with grey skies and raging hormones.

The film is far from classic, but Pattinson and Stewart’s smoldering chemistry makes Twilight an enjoyable enough watch. To be honest, it also succeeds in arousing enough curiosity about its sequels, the first of which, New Moon will roll into our cinemas two weeks from now.

I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for Twilight; this love story has bite. Sink your teeth into it, if you enjoy mushy marshmallow entertainment.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

1 Comment »

  1. Sir, are you kidding me? u gave the dark knight rises 3 and a half stars o_O twilight was awfully cheesy

    Comment by Monal — July 22, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

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