We have all experienced moments of remembrance of our childhoods or early youths; of those shameful moments which are impossible to forget. I had such a flashback recently. When I set my eyes on my shelf, what I saw was no more and no less than a collection of three books from the Twilight Saga. The fourth book was missing because by the time it was finally released in Croatian, I was already sufficiently aware of the fact that the story wasn’t really good. I’m still considering buying it. It would fit the shelf well. This way it’s somehow unfinished, incomplete. Regardless, I watched all the movies back in the old days when they came out. It’s been 12 years since the first movie came out (God I’m old). And yes, those awful movies have been my guilty pleasures for a while. Actually, for a fairly long time. Returning to my dull puberty, I had to treat myself once again with the Saga’s big screen adaptation.

So, Twilight. Twelve years later, it’s like I’m watching the world through different eyes. And thank God for that. There are so many hilarious moments that I’m in actual shock. Could I ever have liked this? The only thing that holds up is the soundtrack, while other good things need to be looked for carefully as they’re overshadowed by all that causes uncontrolled laughter. I mustn’t be too strict, it’s a film made for people aged 13-16 after all, so from the perspective of a person who is almost 30, the film looks significantly different (why a person who’s almost 30 watched it in the first place is a different topic).

The reason why Twilight became globally popular is the love story between Bella, who is by no means a special girl, and Edward, who is special in absolutely every way, most prominently because of the fact that he is a vampire. Their love story elicited sighs from teenage girls around the world. They both can and can’t be together. They shouldn’t, but they want to be so much. They can’t live without each other, but it’s so hard when they’re together, because he’s a vampire who feels a thirst for human blood here and there, and she’s a human. The story has absolutely everything you need, from a tragic love story to a mystical world.

Plot

As for the plot, it’s already known to everyone. Bella Swan comes to live with her father in the small town of Forks, where the year has few sunny days. In Forks, at a new school, she meets new friends and the self-effacing Edward. Edward Cullen lives with his family, consisting of his parents, two brothers and two sisters. They are all adopted, but the unusual thing about them is that they’re all vampires. Vampires who never grow old and never sleep, who drink blood (only animal blood, but still). Edward possesses special powers, from incredible speed to reading other people’s minds. Everyone is special apart from Bella, and Edward immediately falls in love with her. He both hates and adores Bella at the same time. And she falls in love with him also. The story shows promise, doesn’t it?

What actually shocked me was their relationship and how I hadn’t noticed all its nuances before, which aren’t good in any relationship, be it a vampire-human, human-human, or vampire-vampire relationship. In all possible combinations, some things are just a no no and a NO. I would like to clarify that a little bit.

Bella & Edward’s relationship

Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen are the couple who have knocked millions of teenage girls off their feet. I have to admit, Kristen Stewart never sat right with me as an actress. Her emotionless expressions always seemed monotonous to me and I never really „believed“ her performance. She is neither convincing nor expressive. Given the role, her uniformity actually fitted in well. As for Edward, it’s all pretty sad there too. Facial expressions that are more in line with a freak who won’t leave you alone than a person who is so cool and dignified.

The first thing I noticed now was (and this obviously wasn’t a problem before) that Edward was staring at Bella all the time with that maniacal look. Dude, you’re 100 years old and have enough experience, get a grip. Can’t you at least make it more subtle? And the next question is, what kind of girl could fall in love with a guy after getting stared at like this? The only emotion that can arise from it is getting the chills.

Edward staring at Bella

 

People can be declared as creepy freaks and excommunicated from social life forever because of much smaller and more innocuous things, but not in Twilight. Here all high school students are full of understanding for the weird.

In fact, Edward Cullen is a typical example of a possessive boyfriend who has a little bit of an aggression problem. We’d say he’s a jerk. From the very beginning of their acquaintance, he never misses a moment to intensify his complexes and the feeling of insecurity. What more could a girl want?

Of course, a girl could want for much more. For example, a boyfriend who walks into your room while you’re sleeping, or a boyfriend who rejects you and says you shouldn’t hang out together, but he still follows around you all the time. And even better is the charged sense of guilt because she’s a human being and he occasionally craves her blood. At least that’s how it looks in the scenes we’re shown. And let’s not forget the passive and not-so-passive aggression. Here are a few sentences that should trigger a red flag in everyone’s head:

I feel really protective of you. (a bit creepy)

I’m a killer. (wow!)

This is the skin of a killer. (once again WOW!)

I’m the world’s most dangerous predator. (sexy or what?)

I’m designed to kill. (red flag!)

I’ve killed people before. (alarm, alarm!!)

I wanted to kill you. (run Bella!! Run!)

I’ve never wanted a human’s blood so much in my life. (c’mon, Bella?! And that’s a long time. He’s 100 years old after all.)

Bella’s reaction is fascinating: I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. I trust you… (you trust him? You barely even know him.)

Really, Bella? Really? Didn’t the slightest alarm go off, didn’t you get the desire to run away no matter what the consequences?

Now add the acting skills to all this, skills that a Mexican soap opera wouldn’t shy away from. Simply wonderful. This is a film that young girls could learn a lesson from, about what not to want in your relationships.

Bella and Edward

It didn’t take me much research to figure out that a lot of people agree with me. And all of the above was noticed and described long before I noticed and described it. It seems that I am finally mature enough to do the same. We must keep in mind that this is only the first part of the Saga. There are sequels that are just as good, if not better. In the sequels, we learn that Jacob can turn into a giant wolf and kill evil vampires, and then later he falls in love with an infant. I know it may seem absurd out of context, but it really makes sense when you watch the movie and read the books.

Twilight, with all its intricacies, definitely had its place when growing up, and now it’s found a place on my list of good comedies. We mustn’t be too strict with this Saga or with ourselves. Everything has its place and its time.

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

Based on Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Starring:  Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), Billy Burke (Charlie Swan), Peter Facinelli (Carlisle Cullen), Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen), Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen), Kellan Lutz (Emmett Cullen), Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale), Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black)

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