Friday, 20 November 2009

Film Review: TWILIGHT (2008)

Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Running time: 118 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12

Watched on Sky+ Friday 20th November 2009.


I guess I’m definitely not the target audience for this film, however, I feel I can therefore be a little more objective about it. Set in the small town of Forks in Washington State, it tells the story of Bella Swan and her love for the vampire Edward Cullen. Bella has recently moved to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother and step dad to go on the road.

On her first day of school, Bella meets Edward who, at first doesn’t seem to like her. He then disappears for a few days, during which a man is mysteriously killed by what is thought to be a wild animal. On his return, Edward seems to have changed and starts taking more of an interest in Bella. Edward is being fostered by Carlisle Cullen and his wife Esme, there is also Alice, Emmett and the twins Rosalie and Jasper. Bella’s father is the local sheriff and his best friend Billy Black and his son Jacob also have a part to play in this tale. Edward’s attraction to Bella grows strong and she, in turn, begins to fall for him. Eventually she figures out exactly what Edward is and confronts him with it. She is not scared and they begin to see each other, secretly at first, but then in the open. Bella is taken to meet Edward’s family who, it turns out, do not feed on humans, but are kind of vampire vegetarians and only feed on animals. I won’t tell any more as I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, I’m sure there must be one or two out there that haven’t seen this yet.

A beautifully shot movie with, surprisingly, not too many special effects. A pretty good soundtrack too, but any soundtrack with the band Muse in it can’t be all bad! Decent performances from all of the main characters, Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, Billy Burke as Charlie Swan, Gil Birmingham as Billy Black, Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black and Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen. I particularly enjoyed Billy Burke as Bella’s understated father; I think he really nailed that part.

Over all, although I haven’t read the book and, as I said at the beginning, I’m certainly not the target audience, I quite enjoyed this film. I didn’t really engage with the characters too much though. The plot was not too difficult to follow and it was quite entertaining. I can’t give it too high a mark though because I felt there wasn’t enough of an edge to it. For instance, Bella should have been scared when she figured out Edward was a vampire, but she wasn’t and we, as an audience, just had to accept that, which, to me, made the vampires seem a lot less threatening than they should have been.

My score: 6.2/10

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