I was all for seeing The Day the Earth Stood Still. The original was splendid and I was curious to see how such an iconic piece of film history would be reinterpreted.
Cult sci-fi was not to be the evening fare however. My sister suggested we go to see Twilight, an adaptation of an American ‘young adult’ novel by Stephanie Meyer that has a following of almost religious fervour. The film’s target demographic is female and teenage. I snuck in unnoticed at my local cinema. By the by, Odeon have stopped giving their orange movie tickets, replacing them with till receipts. I am outraged.
The film might not be to everyone’s taste but do pop along if you like any of the following: Dreamy leading men, talented leading women, vampires, murder, the Volvo C30, a small but potentially toxic dose of American high school prom action.
I settled into the malodorous velour of my seat not knowing what to expect. I knew Robert Pattinson, best known previously for playing the dearly departed Cedric Diggory in The Goblet of Fire (hideously underwritten for, wouldn’t you agree?). This provided some incentive (always nice to see new talent and all that) but I really can’t abide angst-filled teen romance. I began viewing with scepticism, which was not allayed by the predictable narrative voice over the first scene. As the film progressed however, I was drawn in:
To briefly summarise: Girl meets boy. Boy is vampire. All merry hell ensues. I don’t feel I should tell you any more frankly. Like a good pair of briefs, there is tension in all the right places, the correct amount of levity, occasional unpleasantness and a few surprises along the way (that analogy wasn’t as exact as I would have liked but I do hope you get the gist).
The success of a film such as this, with or without a legion of fans of the original material—whom, I am reliably informed, call themselves Twilighters—rides on the believability of the leading woman’s performance. Thankfully Kristen Stuart gives a wonderfully natural portrayal of Bella and the chemistry between her and Pattinson is most poignant. So much so that, despite myself, I was with the rest of the audience in wanting them to snog each other’s faces off before half time. Pattinson does well too although with a face like that he could just sit around looking smashing and one wouldn’t care. Yes, dear reader, I have a man crush of almost orgasmic proportions.
Catherine Hardwicke directs a polished piece often beautifully filmed. The majestic Oregon landscape provides a pleasant backdrop on affairs.
Paranormal romance was not a genre I was particularly familiar with before now and not one I would wish to further investigate apart from within this particular franchise. Twilight is a film you view much like one of its vampiric characters. Every sensible part of you knows you ought to back away, but you are drawn in regardless.
Stephanie Meyer is now sandwiched between Alexander Dumas and Simon Blackburn on my bedside table. It’s a bit of a squeeze but everyone seems to be having a lovely time. Especially Dumas the old rascal.