Fifteen Years of Twilight: Is the Movie Still Working?

It was 2008 when Twilight came to the cinema. A date that seems very distant not only according to the calendar, but also in terms of the level of social and cultural development of our society. This was the first chapter of the film to deal with the love story of the vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison) and human Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart), and the feature film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke.

Twilight, a mass phenomenon

When the feature film dedicated to the first chapter of Stephenie Meyer’s literary tetralogy was announced, thousands of viewers around the world went crazy. In 2005 the writer Stephenie Meyer printed a book twilight, which in later statements he said was the result of his dream of a girl falling in love with a vampire. In its first month of publication, the novel reached number five on the New York Times bestseller list, and in an equally short time climbed that result to number one, where it has remained for a long time. By 2005, all teenagers had at least heard of Twilight and the number of readers (especially, I must say, female readers) continued to grow sharply. There was something about Edward and Bella’s romance that appealed directly to younger readers, those who were the same age as the main characters. In an age before social media, where booktok or bookstragram weren’t even utopias, Twilight built its success on word of mouth. Everyone who read this story, or at least most of them, got so carried away by it that they lent their copy to a friend, and so on through an ever-expanding and increasingly successful chain. While criticism of the book has been somewhat relentless – the most recurring criticisms have been Meyer’s rudimentary writing, the lack of adequate character development, and the vampire figure almost being turned into a parody of himself. Twilight continued to have a worldwide readership, building a community that grew stronger with the release of the next two books, New moon And Eclipse. Given that premise, it’s not surprising that the book became a movie, as was the enthusiasm with which the news was received. Twilight it was a mass phenomenon, a kind of collective event, and the film went in the same direction.

Twilight after fifteen years: what do we think?

When Twilight had, so to speak, a moment of glory, the narrative (both literary and cinematic) dedicated to youth had predetermined rules. In the first decade of the 2000s, in this sense, it was not surprising to see a story in which the protagonist was the so-called Mary Sue an almost perfect character, with whom everyone fell in love, who was just waiting for the arrival of his charming prince in order to be happy. Bella Swan reacted to these “laws”. Everyone who knew her fell in love with her, despite the fact that she did nothing to please or attract attention. She was just a girl that everyone fell in love with. In addition, the girl is described as clumsy, constantly ready to stumble, having difficulty with pronunciation of words due to her shyness. The remaining characteristics, these, were well combined with the prototype of those years.

Similarly, Edward reacted to pre-established canons. Handsome and Damned in the early 2000s was a charming but gruff character, silent to the point of pathological but capable of grandiose romantic gestures that appeared in moments that were supposed to be the most unexpected and in which he was the only one worthy of the hero’s love. A little’ The beauty and the Beast and a bit of a teenage discovery story, Twilight it stood halfway between fantasy and pure romance. Moreover, it was perhaps one of the first cases Romance, A term used today to describe works in which love stories and fantasy are given equal weight. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have gone to great lengths to bring these characters back to the big screen, and their work has been highly praised by fans, who have chosen them as gods down to earth.

But fifteen years later, with a new public consciousness, the film Twilight it seems much more “shrinking” than successful. It’s no coincidence that viral videos make fun of the story of two characters or Kristen Stewart’s performance as a teenage girl who appears to have problems with her speech therapist. Similarly, most see Edward not as a romantic hero, but as a real stalker who creates a toxic and co-dependent relationship with his girlfriend, who doesn’t accept her making her own decisions, and who decides that both are going to move forward. or end the romance. Even the performance of the two actors is mechanical, strange, especially Steward’s performance, stuck in an endless series of grimaces, to such an extent that, seeing her again today, it almost seems to suggest parodic ambitions. It’s perhaps no coincidence that Robert Pattinson distanced himself somewhat from the role of Edward, despite opening the door to Hollywood and fame for him. Therefore, it can be said with some calmness that the film has not aged at all and that it is not only a child of its age, but also seems “old” for that historical and cultural moment.

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