Hello, my name is Karen, and I have seen the highly anticipated adaption of Stephenie Meyer's vampire saga, Twilight, four times in theaters. Yes, i realize that this means I have basically shelled out 40+ dollars to see Robert Pattinson stare broodingly at me for two hours. Yes, I have spent 8+ hours that I should have been using to study for my finals watching scenes that I'd both seen and read before. So now that I've given you my credentials for being able to talk about this movie, let me give you some of my insights on how to properly enjoy this movie.
1. Realize that it isn't Harry Potter
For my first viewing, I went with a group of sorority sisters for a midnight showing. Only about half of us really knew what we were going to see, the rest were basically just looking for a good way to get out of studying for a couple hours. I think the fact that the book is other worldly and popular with younger audiences made a lot of my friends expect the movie to be a big CGI-fireworks-explosions-etc. type of deal. As a result, a lot left disappointed. Expectations can make or break a movie-going experience. Viewers should realize this is a simple story, a love story first and foremost, not an action packed thrill ride.
2. Reading the book is critical
Twilight is actually a pretty slow book (time-wise) when you think about it. The majority of the book takes place in about a week. So much of the book is packed with descriptions of the thoughts of the main character, Bella. Getting into her mind and the love story is really what makes the book. With that being said, truly understanding the characters is important when watching the movie. My friends have criticized the movie's acting saying the whole thing felt so awkward. Honestly, from my knowledge of the book, I feel the acting is pretty accurate. The book is filled with awkward encounters between Charlie and Bella and Edward and Bella. Reading the book will prepare you for this and understand that both Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were actually pretty true to character.
3. READ MIDNIGHT SUN!
As you may know, Stephenie Meyer recently posted the first 257 pages of Midnight Sun
on her website. The book narrates the events of Twilight in Edward's point of view. Before I watched the movie for the second time, I read this and it really gave me new insights into Edward's character and appreciate Pattinson's portrayal so much more. I also picked up on little things like when Edward suddenly tells Alice to keep her thoughts to herself (she had just had a vision of Bella as a vampire) and why Alice was so creepy telling Bella they'd be friends (she had visions of their friendship!). Reading this will definitely add to your viewing experience and I really hope Stephenie decides to finish it.
4. Listen to the Soundtrack
Before later viewings, I bought the Twilight soundtrack, and I am very glad I did. It was surprisingly awesome. I love every song on the mix and it makes the prefect CD for driving. My personal favorite is the Muse Song (track 1) which is played during the baseball scene. Appreciating the music has really made this movie more enjoyable with repeated viewings.
5. Don't be afraid to see it more than once
I have escorted many of my friends on their second viewing and they always tell me how much better it is! I experienced the same feelings too, and have even come back for my fourth viewing. So go to a Sunday matinee (and skip being ripped off as much by current box office prices) and treat yourself to seconds.
I really feel true understanding of the characters is the key for appreciating this movie. I was also very impressed with all the supporting characters' performances and the casting of the Cullens was superb. I really hope their talents are utilized more in the sequels. Hopefully, this review will help you appreciate a movie I have come to love over the past month.
Also, I would greatly appreciate your comments. What did you think about the movie?