Film Review

1 January 2017

The film Twilight tells the story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a typical moody teenager from Phoenix, Arizona who has recently moved to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with Charlie, her father. She attends Forks High School where she meets Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison) and unknowingly changes the course of her life from that point on. In time Bella comes to the realisation that Edward and his family are vampires. They have lived for over a thousand years between them but have never once come across the relationship that forms between Bella and Edward.

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This supernatural drama directed by Catherine Hardwicke, with its engaging storyline and action packed drama is set to engage the viewer from start to finish. The visual elements are like no other. The first scene begins with a simple shot of deer drinking from a small pond while the camera is from the view point of a predator, stalking its prey. The low lying, unsteady camera angles add to the suspense of the hunt. The atmosphere is then cut with the deer being attacked by the mystery creature.

This whole scene is narrated by Kristen Stewart’s voice reciting an extract from the novel that reads ‘I’d never given much thought to how I would die. But dying in place of someone I love seems like a good way to go. ’ It gives a subtle hint to the underlying storyline which comes to light as the film progresses. This scene starts the movie off with a bang and gives the audience an indication of the tone and plot of the film. It forces you to question what the connection is between this bizarre opening and the rest of the movie.

Costume plays a big role in character development and the styles and eras of costume help to distinguish between the different types of vampires as well as the humans. Most of the vampires, whether they’re good or evil wear period clothing and it is generally affected by the century that they were reborn in. Human characters including Bella and Charlie are seen wearing dark and simple clothing that is suited to the cold environment around them while the Cullens sport fashionable and wealthy The excellent use of sound and lighting is evident in a fight scene between James, an evil tracker vampire, and the Cullens.

Bella is led to her old dance studio by James and unsuspectingly becomes victim to his hunt for human blood. This scene is the climax of the film and is filled with high impact action and unusual lighting. For example, the way that James taunts Bella and has his threats echo off the glass that surrounds them gives the audience the ability to share the emotions that Bella is experiencing as it intensifies everything that he says.

The way that the dull moonlight filters through into the studio creates numerous shadows and an element of unknown for the audience. Even if the acting could be considered as a bit less than extraordinary at times, this movie is full of great cinematography and breathtaking scenery, all tied together with a well written storyline that excites, memorises and keeps you spellbound from the moment you press play. I rate Twilight a 4 out of 5 stars as it’s a timeless love story with a modern twist.

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