Based on Stephenie Meyer‘s novel of the same name and directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Twilight follows high-school student Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), who moves from sunny Arizona to the perpetually overcast town of Forks in Washington. There, she meets Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a handsome but mysterious teen who has a secret. Edward is a vampire. His family don’t drink blood, but Bella’s scent inspires a nearly-impossible-to-harness bloodlust in Edward. Far from being frightened, the two enter into a dangerous romance. Things go relatively smoothly until a visiting vampire clan – consisting of James (Cam Gigandet), Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), and Laurent (Edi Gathegi) – catches Bella’s unique scent and threatens the young couple’s future together.
I always feel like I have to justify myself when I say that I like the Twilight films, but there’s no denying that I do. I’m a bigger fan of the books than I am of the film adaptations, but that can be said for most franchises like this.
The books aren’t amazingly written, but they are a lot more enjoyable than their adaptations because they don’t put their appeal in adolescent girls as much. This is where the adaptations start to go wrong, although this is where they make all of their money from. The books read much less soppy and pathetic than the adaptation makes the story out to be, whereas the films have more of a focus on the themes of love and soulmates.
But if there’s only one film to enjoy out of the franchise, then it is definitely this one. As the first film in the franchise, it sets the story up well and introduces the well-cast characters brilliantly.
I much prefer Kristen Stewart’s other work, but she certainly fits the role of Bella Swan well, and Robert Pattinson is definitely going up from here, too. But he is the main key to the success of this franchise. Their chemistry, as well, is incredibly strong, and it’s no surprise that they started dating in real life after filming this.
What I like most about this film is that it has an almost indie feel to it. The soundtrack (and this can be said for the whole franchise) is absolutely phenomenal, including some of my favourite songs from the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Bon Iver, and Vampire Weekend. The gazebo scene at the end of the film, especially, with Iron and Wine playing in the background, is my favourite from the whole franchise, and it is because of this moment that I enjoy this film so much.
Sure, Twilight definitely has a target audience and it’s very unlikely to appeal to anyone outside of that age group/gender. It’s also the only film in the franchise that I will defend in terms of quality as it does a lot right, so this first instalment, at least, needs to be forgiven for the whole ‘sparkly vampire’ thing.