Ok. First of all, I did enjoy the first movie tremendously as it was beautifully shot and there was a good balance of teen angst, mystery, action and high school girl-meets-boy thing amidst the excellent cinematography. At my age, of course I knew almost nil about what's hot in teen girls' literary world. Yes, I'm one of those people who discovered this through the movie.
So, out of curiosity, I went and purchased the book to see how the written work was translated to the big screen. Got all FOUR books and...........I wish I hadn't. I have seen countless debates online from both parties who criticise the books and the die-hard fans who defend
them vehemently. After finishing, I must say that I'm in the critic group.
I will always tell people that I'm a romantic at heart and being that, there's where I found the problem with the books; Edward and Bella's relationship just ISN'T love to me. The "love" described in the book feels more like and OBSESSION of a teenage girl with a member of a boyband. Why am I saying this? Just read the first book and see how Bella describes Edward every chance she gets. How "perfectly muscled" he is, "beautiful hair", "male model features", perfect skin etc etc. So much so that I don't even know what is the characteristic of Edward as a
person that she falls in love with. Even actor Robert Pattinson said in an interview that Bella is "obsessed" with Edward. See? Straight from the mouth of the guy who should know.
So, why are the movies bearable to me? It's because it was obvious from the first big screen installment that the two lead actors are not keen on playing the characters the way they were written in the books. They both wanted to interpret it their way. Kristen Stewart didn't want to
portray Bella as weak. Yes, the Bella in the book is so meek and clingy plus sex-crazy. If one just watch Kristen's potrayal without reading the book, one wouldn't have guessed how weak Bella is in the original story. Robert never made it a secret how, back in school, he hated guys who behave like they are the hottest handsome men around.
Back to the movies, I have to admit that it becomes more and more cringe-inducing with each subsequent installment. That scene of Edward and Bella running in the woods is a celebration of romance galoria Bollywood style xD. My sister and I burst into laughter the moment THAT
came on screen. By the 3rd movie, you see more and more scenes of the two lovebirds on beds of flowers. Just one step away from Bella and Edward suddenly bursting into different multi-coloured clothes and prancing around the trees xD
On a side note, I am still puzzled as to how many young women who had watched Harry Potter 4 movie did not notice Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory. How can you not notice the actor who played Cedric? Isn't Cedric described as the popular gorgeous guy in the book? The guy who won the heart of Harry's first love, Cho Chang? What did you imagine? When I first saw Robert in Harry Potter, my reaction was like, "Woh! That is far beyond my expectation for Cedric." Anyway, his looks aside, the young man actually has talent and depth.
Back to the Twilight saga, anyone with a sane mind would find that the most likeable character is Jacob. In fact, it is Jacob who challenges Bella to say what is it about Edward that she loves so much? That is well into the story as in........ Book No.3? Maybe Ms. Meyer wrote Jacob to be the "common sense" to this Bella-Edward's notion of "romance". In fact, had it not been for Ms. Meyer's decision to let us delve into Jacob's mind by writing certain chapters in Jacob's first-person's view, I might have gone straight to the last chapter of Breaking Dawn just to end the story. I have to agree with some critics' opinion that turning the gentle Jacob into this guy who forces himself on Bella from time to time seems designed to make us readers dislike him in favour of Edward. He's a wolf now. Hence, his beastly tendency. How convenient.
There are some issues that other critics found problems with but I don't. Feminists tend to blast Bella's home-maker side as she prepares dinner for her father and always making sure both her parents are well taken care of. In fact, that detail of how Bella takes good care of her family is the admirable thing about her before she turns into this spineless clingy damsel in distress as the story progresses. Bella is independent in Book No.1 and she doesn't need anyone to cling to initially till she meets Edward of course. Some people have problems with Edward's over-protective nature over Bella as controlling. I don't have problems with that as Ms. Meyer makes it clear that Edward has old-fashioned values, coming from a century-old era. The problem is I don't feel what they have between them as "love". I was a teenager once and I have had my fair share of teen romance books. Twilight just doesn't make me shiver or send that tingling down my spine. I wanted the books to have that effect on me but to the end, not even a low vibration. Let along tingling down my spine. Forget throbbing in the groin xD
However, I will continue watching the movies at the cinema to see how the next installment shall translate to the big screen. Besides, I have always liked Kristen Stewart since the first time I saw her playing Jodie Foster's daughter in The Panic Room years ago. Any young girl who could hold her own opposite a powerhouse actress like Ms. Foster deserves respect. As for Mr. Pattinson, I'm glad he has found this fame and money quite early in his career as this means he can now afford to choose any project that can suit his range as an actor, which I think is very wide. Again, how could people not see the star in Robert Pattinson during Harry Potter? Now suddenly, he's this major heartthrob. How fickle young girls can be. I'd say to Mr. Pattinson and Ms. Stewart,
"milk as much out of the cow now while you still can".
Lastly, I stand by my opinion that if I had a daughter, I wouldn't recommend her to read Twilight at all.