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Twilight the Movie – Lost opportunities

December 13, 2008

On Thursday night, I went to see Twilight with a group of Twilight fans and potential converts from work. We had a group booking of 30, and with that privilege we were led past the huge lineup of teenagers to be the first in the cinema and have our first choice of seats. You know the expression, “If looks could kill…” Those teenage girls were shooting daggers at us.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie and plan to see it again on the big screen. I absolutely loved the baseball game….that was beyond cool.  (Mind you, what is it with Stephenie Meyer and the obligatory team sport. In The Host, they play soccer?)

For the miniscule budget of Twilight, they did okay. I understand that a 500 page book cannot fit everything into two hours on the screen, but there was some major classic moments missed from the book and some lost opportunities.  And I think another twenty minutes would have covered it.

So here are the lost opportunities of Twilight the Movie as I see them.

*******SPOILER ALERT*****************

prom-scene

When I was reading the book and it had been revealed that Edward is a vampire, each time that Edward would touch Bella’s throat, I would tense up, wondering if he was going to kiss her or kill her.  Every single time.  I don’t think they played up this angle enough in the movie. There was the final scene pictured above, which captured that tension perfectly.  But after the scene in the woods where Bella tells him that she knows that he is a vampire, and he is standing behind her gazing at her neck, this particular piece of tension was not explored (until the prom scene). And yet it is a major element of the story.

Bella recognises that Edward’s eyes change colour, but no explanation for that is given in the movie. Did the screenwriter forget that some people in the audience would not have read the book? It would have taken maybe 2 lines for Edward to have explained that black eyes means that he is thirsty to Bella and golden eyes mean he’s not, and he could have also explained his absences from school.

When Bella says “sometimes you speak like you’re from another time” (or something like that) in the movie, it’s not true. There’s plenty of evidence of those sort of speech patterns from Edward in the book, but not in the movie. In the movie, he speaks like a normal teenager(I guess he’s assimilated so well). It needed some ‘old worlde’ speech patterns to differentiate him and for Bella to react to earlier on in the movie.

Where was the ‘Do I dazzle you line?” That only needed a couple more lines in the restaurant scene, and it would have been fine.  Guys, we’re not talking about major amounts of footage to put these things in.

I believe there was lost opportunities when we were shown scenes of Bella and Edward talking but hearing the soundtrack instead of dialogue. What were they talking about?  Here is where some of the major dialogue from the book may have been taking place, but instead we’re selling a mediocre soundtrack. Show us the deepening of the relationship. Oh, that’s right – that’s where the screenwriter wrote.  Medium close up: Edward and Bella sitting on bed talking. Music.   LOST OPPORTUNITY!

Bella’s Lullaby:  we see Edward playing the piano, Bella lying listening to it, then sitting next to him at the piano. Why doesn’t he tell her that he wrote the piece for her?  How romantic would that have been? Instead we just get a montage of images.

And what did the tree climbing achieve?  Was that supposed to be the Twilight version of “I’m the king of the world.’ I didn’t see any point to it all, and thought they were trying to be clever with special effects that added no extra value to the story.

I’m not even going to touch the meadow scene.  Just one word. Inadequate. And let me see you sparkle like you’ve been at the gym for too long.

I’ve seen some complaints about the scene where Bella escapes from Jasper and Alice to go and face off with James because it happened in the hotel rather than the airport. However, I imagine that  filming on location at the airport would have been beyond the budget, so I don’t have a problem with that.  However, Edward then shows up at the ballet studio just in the nick of time (almost) to save Bella, with no bridging scene.  Where was the scene where Edward finds out that Bella has slipped away from Jasper and Alice? Where is his despair when he knows that no one is protecting her? Where is his fear when he realises that Bella has gone to meet a dangerous vampire by herself?  Another lost opportunity where we could have seen how deep his love for her was.   (And don’t say it was from Bella’s perspective because the movie also showed the attacks of the nomad vampires).

Okay, that’s enough of the Twilight analysis for now, though I might return to it after a second viewing.

I loved the relationship between Charlie and Bella, and I think the actor playing Charlie did a great job. The shotgun scene was a classic. I thought Jacob did well, and I think it will be a shame if he is replaced in the next movie, though I’m finding it hard to imagine how he’ll turn into Jacob the werewolf. Kristen Stewart as Bella surprised me, but Robert Pattinson as Edward, needs to tone down the tortured soul and the confused expression, though he is great to look at.

I’m hoping a change in director for New Moon will mean that the potential of the story is developed more along with the potential of the cast to bring the story to life. Meanwhile, I guess I’ll reread the books again. And Midnight Sun.

robphotoshoot1_1

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. sahar009 permalink
    December 13, 2008 12:27 pm

    Great review!

  2. December 13, 2008 4:09 pm

    Hey, Diane!

    I agree with you! The biggest problem I had with the movie was Edward’s awkwardness and demeanor. You touched on two points…his eyes and how they don’t explain that, but more from my perspective in that in his 90+ years on earth, he didn’t once think to explain it away as contacts? He could very easily said, “Yes, I got contacts.” Then LATER explain to her what happens to the color of his eyes (like you mentioned that they left out). I can’t imagine that someone who’s been around for 90+ years AND has this supernatural mannerism would be so fumbling and awkward. Yes, I understand that she is a temptation and she is the one woman/being that he has been waiting for. There is indeed something special about Bella and what he means to her, but he’d be way too practiced in his behavior by this time to let it come out in such an inexperienced way. I don’t believe that was the actor, but more the direction that was given to him. Pattinson was much more in control of his demeanor in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and he was more “human” – I guess. LOL

    Good review!

    • dianecurran permalink*
      December 13, 2008 6:03 pm

      I really didn’t want to diss Rob’s acting too much because I might be attacked by rabid fangrrls but he is only young with no formal training. Maybe the director was able to get a better response from her female cast than her male cast (he’s not Heath Ledger in acting ability). Let’s hope the next one’s better and he doesn’t look so perplexed.

  3. December 13, 2008 4:14 pm

    Oh, just got home from watching this movie and I so agree with you…MAJOR LOST OPPORTUNITIES! I was getting ready to blog about it when I saw this…now I think I’ll link to your post because you say it all so well. And hello, the nomad vampire attacks…not even in the book. The diner, not in the books. Oh where do you stop…

  4. December 14, 2008 11:09 am

    Hang in there for True Blood. You’ll find the vampires so much more…well…red blooded than the wusses from Twilight. And you’ll get a kick out of Ryan Kwanten as the dumbest white trash Southern stud in the world.

  5. sahar009 permalink
    December 14, 2008 2:41 pm

    Ok now I’m kind of scared to see the movie!

  6. Leigh permalink
    January 12, 2009 2:25 am

    Fantastic review! Whilst I really enjoyed the film it did frustrate me greatly how much they missed out, made it seem almost disjointed. Far too many missed oppurtunities to turn it from a good film in to an amazing one. Lets hope New Moon is better!

  7. January 9, 2010 5:34 am

    Amazing reveiw. I totally agree with basically every point. There were so many (more than 40) messed up and lost opprotunities!

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