Posted by: greercn | July 24, 2010

The Twilight Saga Eclipse

What is the collective noun for a large number of teenage girls? A gaggle? A giggle? Anyway, there were lots of them and only one of me at the Stratford Picture House.

I was the oldest person in the cinema by about 85 million decades. Okay, I exaggerate. Maybe four decades. No boys were present and nobody over 20 dared venture in. Except me.  Brave or stupid?

I have a soft spot for the Twilight Saga. I think they are quite a lot better written and executed than the Harry Potter films and books and I feel they represent teenage feelings well. That sense of being an outsider and of anticipating the future is beautifully observed, in these books and movies.

There are two things that are done gloriously in this film. The separate worlds of werewolves. vampires and humans are all well created and preserved. The highest standards of science fiction are kept here.

Secondly, the sense of being on the edge of something big is very real indeed. I am looking at photos of myself  at 12 and that is because this movie manages to get that sense of blind emotion and energy- without knowing what it means – very accurately. The characters are actually about 18. But they are designed to appeal to much younger teenagers and I like the characters and feel empathy for them.

So, what’s the plot? The truce between vampires and werewolves is tenuous. Lots of people are being killed in nearby Seattle, to create a vampire army. Whether this is down to the evil Victoria or to the Volturi – the vampire elders – is not known.

Riley Biers, played by Xavier Samuel, has become a vampire. Is he being manipulated? Is this a threat to the Cullens?  Our hero, Edward (Robert Pattinson) is a Cullen and a vampire and has a chaste but burning love for human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).

They need werewolf protection and, while Bella loves Edward, she has some mixed feelings for Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) who is a fit young werewolf who – as Edward snarls – appears not to own a shirt. Hey, if I had abs like that and I was a guy, I would dispense with shirts entirely.

Quite a lot of background is given on how the werewolves became werewolves and how the vampires became vampires. Some of this is a little slow, but Nikki Reed’s story as Rosalie and Jack Huston’s role in her undoing is particularly affecting.

It is also worth noting the important role of Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) as she hates the Cullens.

Ashley Greene as Alice is always good value and Anna Kendrick as Jessica is outstanding in her key role as valedictorian at the high school graduation. Watch for Jodelle Ferland’s particularly affecting role as a new vampire. This girl will be a big star.

Billy Burke puts in another good turn as Charlie Swan, Bella’s dad and – just for once – we get to see some of Bella’s relationship with her mother. Yes, all kid movies seem to feature dead or absent mothers and Twilight is no exception, but you get some satisfactory balance here. Sarah Clarke makes the most of a few short scenes.

Will Bella marry Edward? Will she become a vampire? How strong are her feelings for Edward? Will the truce between vampires and werewolves last? How will Bella handle her mixed emotions about Jacob?

It’s all very engaging and Stephenie Meyers has created rather a fun sense of youth and difference. David Slade directs and Melissa Rosenberg wrote the script and I only looked at my watch once in about two hours.

Oh, it’s such good fun. A superb soundtrack zips the whole thing along. I nearly missed out on seeing this, due to a happy obligation to attend a fabulous birthday party in London’s Victoria Park. I am very glad that I figured out a way to be at the party and see “Eclipse”. Youth, as someone once said, is wasted on the young.

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Responses

  1. I didn’t think anyone could make me want to see this movie, but you did!

    • Thank you! I have a very soft spot for fiction aimed at teenagers. I have been accused of being soft on Twilight – but I stick by my guns and say it’s a beautifully created world with a lush sense of yearning and a genuine attempt to depict the alien. I also like the ethics of it. But I do feel MOST OLD when I go see these movies.


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