TWILIGHT: Mainly A Fan Flick
TWILIGHT (love story)
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Peter Fascinelli and Cam Gigandet
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Time: 122 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: First, a little quiz. What happens when vampires go vegetarian? Answer: They hunt for animal blood instead! Seriously, if he really exists, Count Dracula should sue the pants off the makers of this movie for using vampires as eye candy and a gimmick to lure young girls to the cinema. He may also want to send a lawyer's letter to novelist Stephenie Meyer, seeking damages for her 'misrepresentation' of the vampire characteristics, making them totally unvampirelike, sans fangs, sans thirst for human blood (they have cultivated a taste for animal plasma) and not being afraid of the cross, garlic and the sun.
Count D should claim big money from Meyer because after reading her hugely popular novels (the first of which this movie is based), no teenage girl is going to shrink away from vampires any more. Imagine what that would do to his reputation!
WHAT IS IT ABOUT? Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves from Phoenix to the small Washington State town of Forks in the middle of her junior year. There she meets and falls for the local high school hottie, Edward (Robert Pattinson) who looks like a cross between James Dean and Brendan Fraser. The pale-looking Edward is not like the other guys. He is a vampire. And he advises Bella to stay away from him because he does not know if he can control himself.
Of course, that makes the love-stricken lass even more determined - and when she finds out the truth, she still refuses to stay away. Nice. Love blooms. Edward and his family are the 'vegans' of their 'species' but not the other blood-suckers who treat Bella as fair game...
PLUSES & MISSES: Basically, this is a high school love story about desire and abstinence, etc., and vampires are just the 'bling-bling' that accessorises it. Meyers' chick lit rewrites the vampire rule book and gives them all sorts of powers. And some of them can be rather ridiculous. The legions of 'Twilight' fans (mostly girls) may not feel it, but the love story takes a long time to develop and we have to endure bad dialogue and occasional bad acting, especially from Pattinson, who must have been chosen for his looks than his talent.
Indeed, 'Twilight' has that low-budget made-for-TV look (what with its relatively unknown cast) and if you are looking for steamy sensuality, this one is not just tame and preachy, it is also anaemic.
THE LOWDOWN: If you have not read the book, there's really no need to take a look.