My sis and I were shopping for Christmas decors when we decided on the spur of the moment to watch “Twilight”. It was Friday, late afternoon, school was out -- bad call – clearly the demographic was high school and college students. The line wasn’t that long, but the movie house was nearly full. We took our seats and sat back to enjoy the movie. Fat chance…when the Cullens started to appear, the screaming started. As it turned out, seated right behind us was a whole row of high school students. And when Edward appeared, the dialogue was drowned out by the hyperventilating shrieks of the same demographic. Sheesh! A number of us were irritated, especially since they started to anticipate and pre-empt every scene after that with their intimate knowledge of the story. No amount of hushing quelled their excitement. When the scene came for Edward’s first “Hello”, the squealing drowned out the dialogue! Angry moviegoers finally yelled at them, including my very audible “OVER!” Well, that did the trick coz they behaved after that. Remind me never to watch a much hyped movie in its first few days of screening. I’d much rather watch it during its last few days of run when you have an almost empty theater and you can blissfully enjoy the movie without the noise, the jostling, and the passing-in-front-of-you-to-get-to-the-next-seat.
Okay, let’s face it; no movie version could ever hope to surpass the book. That’s proven in the case of the Harry Potter series, The DaVinci Code, the Bourne series, and a lot more. Even the biggest Hollywood budget and the most high-tech special effects could never hope to match the imagination of those who have read the books. The best they could do is to stay true to the story and make the movie as close to the imagination as it possibly could.
Fortunately “Twilight” is one such movie, true to its source material. Even the choice of the actors to play the key roles did not disappoint the book’s followers. Although I still don’t get all the hype about this movie. I mean, the premise of a “good” vampire falling in love with a mortal has been rehashed to death. In fact this angst-filled romance reminded me of TV’s Buffy and Angel (remember them?), except that Buffy is a kick-ass slayer while Bella is the classic damsel in distress. Even the excruciatingly slow-to-happen first kiss reminded me of the long drawn-out first kiss of Joey and Dawson in Dawson’s Creek. But somehow author Stephenie Meyer seemed to have achieved the right balance of suspense and romance to titillate the imagination of her target audience, the young adults of this generation. Furthermore, she has completely reinvented the vampire image and veered away from the frequent depictions of a vampire. Like, being able to move in daylight as long as they avoid direct sunlight; we all know vampires burn when sunlight hits them, but in Twilight world, their skin glow like diamonds, a beautiful apparition. They don’t eat, they don’t drink, they don’t sleep (what? no coffins?), they don’t shun away from garlic or crosses. All this reinvention made Edward even more irresistible, and made the YA crowd root for Edward to finally turn Bella.
The movie not only captivated the hearts of its target audience, but also those not in the demographic. As usual critics are divided on this one, but I really don’t care much for what the critics say. I go to the movies to be entertained. And I WAS entertained, even tickled by the “cute” love story. If it’s entertainment you’re looking for, then this is the movie to watch. Just another one of those big Hollywood movies with sequels you’d have to wait over a year for. Yeah, bummer, huh? =)