Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Anna Kendrick
Running Time: 2hr 2min
Sullen introvert Bella Swan moves from her mother’s home in Arizona to live with her father in the town of Forks, Washington. Described as one of the wettest places in the continental US, Forks is a small town with not much going on, but it does, as Bella discovers, have its fair share of secrets. Bella has no problem fitting in and making new friends, particularly with young Jacob Black, and, on her first day in biology class, she attracts the attention of the mysterious Edward Cullen. One day she is nearly hit by a van, and Edward, showing inhumane speed and strength, stops the van, saving Bella.
The two become friends, and she realizes there is something different about him. After conducting research, and questioning him extensively, Bella concludes that Edward is a vampire. He confirms this, explaining that his family only drink animal blood – he introduces Bella to his family and the two fall in love. However, three new vampires arrive in Forks, led by James, who takes an interest in Bella, realizing she’s human. After a spate of murders, James hunts Bella, and the Cullens have to protect her.
She heads back to Arizona, where James tracks her and lures her into a trap by pretending to be her mother. He bites her, infecting her with venom, but the Cullens arrive in time and kill James, while Edward removes the venom to prevent Bella’s change. Bella winds up in the hospital with a broken leg, after which Edward takes her to prom – refusing her wish to be turned into a vampire. From the shadows, James’ lover Victoria looks on, plotting revenge.
What can we say about Twilight? Well, we all know that it’s become a massive global phenomenon. This is the first movie, adapted from the first book by Stephenie Meyer, and it made huge stars out of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. The movie is the perfect popcorn romance schmaltz, with the additional fantasy and supernatural element thrown into the mix. Let’s be honest, vampires are cool, so it’s no wonder Meyer included them in her story.
Now, Twilight is one of those movies that is definitely for the fans of the book. There is a bit on offer for those who have never read the novel, but, for the most part, this is firmly aimed at Twilight fans. The movie did cause controversy among fans though as there were differences between the film and the book. It’s kind of hard to get too invested in the Twilight train unless you loved the books – in which case you will most likely dig the film.
Catherine Hardwicke does a great job of bringing a faithful adaptation of the phenomenally successful novel to life. She rattles through the early exposition to produce a tight, well-informed, and narratively satisfying adaptation. Twilight fans won’t love it, but they may not hate it either. Fans may be torn between their individual opinions of elements of the books, vs. what they get on camera, and that’s why we awarded the movie a three-star rating – but a high 3 stars!