Twilight (2008 Movie)
I understand why Twilight book fans will not like this movie.
Two factors clash. First, while I have read up to Book 3, I am not exactly a fan of Stephanie Meyer’s writing. Half the time, I would cringe at the extreme dose of sappiness and the first installment’s earthworm-like pace nearly drove me into a coma. It was Jacob Black of the second book (and the movie trailer that actually showed antagonists) that got me interested enough to keep reading. But the series surprisingly became a bestseller so Meyer must have done something commercially right.
Second, director Catherine Hardwicke’s approach is very indie. In short: artistically inclined. You will see this in the camera angles, cinematography, colors, lighting, the additional puns (that were not in the original manuscript but were highly appreciated). I was thoroughly pleased with the baseball scene and the fact that Ms. Hardwicke decided to put the antagonists into play early on. They frustratingly appear super late in the hardcover — the very last few pages, to be exact — and the director decided to do the smart thing.
My movie buddy Nicco could summarize the entire film in this sentence: “Everything about the movie was great — the acting, the music, the shots…everything, except the story.” I’ve got to give Ms. Hardwicke two rounds of applause because she managed to make something that’s oozing with cheese into something that looks kind of respectable. But maybe even Leonardo (da Vinci) can only do so much given the material an artist had to work with.
The problem is when you have to chop off 50% of the mush. The mush is what made Twilight a bestseller. If the approach had been more commercial, maybe the fans would not be disappointed with it. If the content wasn’t so much as a rehash of other vampire stories, then maybe those who are really into the arts would be happy with it. So…what are you going to do? Who are you going to please?
In a nutshell, though, I think the movie was visually — and aurally — beautiful. Very old school, even. Kind of reminds me of Ice Castles and Somewhere in Time. I just wish such artistry could’ve been done on a more deserving story.