Name: jeslynn7

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Reviewed by jeslynn7

As a senior in college it is difficult to find the time to read anything, much less some adolescent fantasy love story. For this reason I began my journey into the world of Twilight as an unconvinced critic. I was quickly overcome however by the sheer intensity of Twilight’s story. When news of a film reached my ears I was immediately prepared for the typical book-to-film disappointment. The story would become diluted and the characters would lose their all of their passion and personality and I would find myself storming out of the theater complaining of my wasted seven dollar ticket. Surprisingly I did not find this to be the case… entirely. For virgins to the Twilight series the story is that of Bella Swan, the new girl as school that catches the attention of the resident “vegetarian” vampire Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson. Edward and his vampire family live in the town of Forks WA and have taken on an alternative lifestyle of consuming only the blood of animals to sustain their undying thirst without harming any humans. When Bella moves to Forks to live with her estranged father Edward is immediately draw to her via her enticing scent and their romance takes flight. Of course, this atypical love story is laced with danger and suspense from the beginning. From the constant internal battle fought by Edward to keep himself from obeying his natural urges and harming the object of his affection, to the danger posed by “non-vegetarian” vampires entering their town, this story takes its viewer on a roller coaster of romance and suspense. Overall the film is more cautious than the book in its portrayal of the star struck lovers, and the script written by Melissa Rosenberg barely scratches the surface of the book’s storyline but it does the job adequately. Readers of the book will be satisfied with the castings of Pattinson and Stewart in the leading roles as will newcomers to the series. Without the obvious passion and teenage angst between these two youngsters the film may have limped to the finish line. However, Pattinson does an excellent job of handling the multitude of facial expressions expected of his tormented vampire character, despite his somewhat overdone makeup and Stewart flawlessly portrays her complicated, clumsy character. Although my verdict remains that this film is a success it is not without flaws. First of all, the low budget start to the filming left the director Catherine Hardwicke with limited special effect resources and it does show. There are a few scenes where Edward attempts to show Bella his true vampire self by displaying his immortal strength and speed. In the book this was done by Edward running so fast it was as if he just flashed from one place to another and tossing around large boulders and tree limbs to demonstrate his great strength. The filmmakers however took this section of the film way off course and instead portrayed Edward jumping from tree to tree like a monkey and even went so far as to have him refer to Bella as his “little spider monkey”. Ridiculous on its own, this section of the film also veers entirely from the book where Edward would never be seen climbing trees like an animal. Blamed on the lack of funds this flaw to the film was probably not as detrimental for newcomers to the story but definitely outraged the loyal fans of the book. The most obvious weakness in the film is the limited character development. Although the portrayals of Edward and Bella are saved by the exquisite job done by Stewart and Pattinson, the rest of the cast is left with limited introductions and few meaningful scenes. This is the only area where this film takes on the usual book-to-film disappointment. This aspect forces the film to be categorized by many into that somewhat shallow genre of “teenage love story” of which its original text is undeserving. This flaw could have been remedied with two more hours of character development but as this was impossible to fit the usual movie time constraints this limited feature must be accepted. So, overall Twilight leaves die hard fans satiated with the story and characters they know and love, it takes newcomers on a ride of passion and suspense sure satisfy a full range of audiences and it brings new life to an old fantasy cliché of vampires in love. I enjoyed this movie and despite some flaws recommend it to audiences of all ages, because everyone can appreciate the intensity of young love, mortal or immortal.

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