When I first heard they were casting this movie I was on the edge of my seat – along with the rest of the Twilight fandom on the internet – eager to see if they would pick people who fit my mental image of the characters. Not just the main characters either, the side characters as well, because I developed an affinity for them that I was unwilling to compromise. Stephenie Meyer had posted on her website people who she’d envisioned while writing, and keeping those in mind, imagine everyone’s shock when we got a host of relatively unknown actors to play our beloved vampires.
I see the logic of it. You don’t want to cast someone whose other roles/history would taint the audience’s view of the character. Bringing in fresh faces helps us to keep an open mind. Here’s where it kind of failed. Robert Pattinson, though beautiful and definitely posessing that otherworldly undead quality, did not have the charm that I expected from Edward Cullen. There were flashes of it, sure. The scene where he first starts to talk to Bella in class and he smiles. *melts* That smile was exactly right. Unfortunately, he hardly used it. Instead, he played the part like a tortured, Emo teen. And yes, we all know that’s who Edward becomes… but really, when we first fall in love with him, is when Bella does- because of his insight, his charm, his sense of humor, and his mystery. He isn’t harsh or rude. When he pushes her away, he does it in a way that read passionateless- like he didn’t believe it himself, rather than looking like he might bite her face off. So although I think RPatz is majorly talented actor, I think he was playing New Moon and Eclipse Edward and he completely missed the mark with Twilight Edward. *prepares to get flamed*
Now the actress cast as Bella, our heroine had some big shoes to fill. Kristen Stewart is amazing. I saw her in Speak and having seen that, had huge hopes for her in Twilight. She had the girl next door look, which was great, since Bella was supposed to feel homey and familiar. Only problem- her awkwardness was Kristen’s, not Bella’s. I kept seeing Kristen in the way she bit her nails or averted her eyes. *sigh* I have higher hopes for her in New Moon, since I think Kristen will really be in her angsty element.
The side characters were a refreshing surprise. I, like most of the Twilight fandom, were thrilled with Ashley as Alice. She just fit the part so perfectly. Emmett was handsome, charming and amusing. Esme looked motherly and beautiful. And Dr. Cullen… *faints* He swept me away. When I first saw the cast photos of him in the scarf and blonde hair it was like he’d stepped right off the page. Charlie, or Chief Swan as many of you know him, seemed to really embody the sadness and loneliness of a man still living in the past and completely inexperienced in raising a child, let alone a teenage daughter.
Overall, the movie had some great points. The screenplay was witty and young. The humans always brought a smile to my face. The cinematography was breathtaking. I loved the lush greens and the blue hues. It really gave you a sense of place. When Bella first discovers Edward’s secret, I loved the montage and her dream. It really seemed like something she’d imagine.
But I missed the gradual growth of their relationship. I missed the conversations that gave us insight into Edward’s mystery. I missed the innocence of their courtship and the subtle build into a sexual crescendo. I feel all of that was lost. And that’s really the magic of Twilight. In the movie, one moment he’s avoiding her and being cool and aloof, the next moment she’s telling him she’d die for him. It just didn’t add up in my mind.
So I hate to say that I’m giving Twilight a C. Because it really felt mediocre to me. It felt like it had all the potential but didn’t quite live up to it. On a more positive note, I have much higher hopes for New Moon. I think a big part of Twilight’s failure was in the directing and in Robert’s portrayal of Edward- but now that he won’t be around much, perhaps we’ll get a better sense of the characters as portrayed in the book. I think Jacob (and Taylor, for that matter) will really bring out the Bella Kristen was meant to be, and I think by the end of it, I’ll actually be rooting for her and Edward in Italy (and suggesting Jacob come to me for some much needed comfort, lol).
*speak amongst yourselves… and please, be gentle with me*