With the fourth instalment of the Twilight saga the melodrama is cranked all the way to eleven.
If you don’t know the story of the Twilight films, tough, as I’m not about to recap them here and if you haven’t seen the previous three don’t waste your time going to see this as you won’t have a clue what’s going on and will probably dismiss it as a ridiculous teen love story about vampires and werewolves. I haven’t read the books but have followed along with the film releases and feel that this one just might be the best to date. The film is essentially divided into two parts the first centering on Edward and Bella’s marriage to one another and then the fall out from their honeymoon. The possibility of Bella giving birth to who knows what threatens to destroy her marriage , the pact between vampire and werewolf and ultimately her human life.
The fact that Kristen Stewart (Bella) and Robert Pattinson (Edward) are doing a line together in real life surely adds to the on-screen chemistry which is the heart and soul of the film. With the fairy-tale wedding at the beginning to the dramatic finale you can not doubt their love and commitment to one another. Bella has cast of the moodiness of her early teenage years becoming more confident and resolute ultimately making her much more likeable. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride Taylor Lautner puts in an excellent performance as Jacob having to deal with the reality that his love for Bella can never be realised as anything more than friendship. All the while he must prevent his brothers in fur from destroying the woman he loves even if it means teaming up with age-old enemies.
There are some very intense scenes along the way and it is a bit surprising the film only gained a 12A certificate however they are handled well and Bill Condon manages to pull off what surely must have been the most difficult of books to adapt faithfully. The only flaw in my mind is the council that the werewolves have regarding Bella, their voices are overdubbed and altered which doesn’t quite work and I feel it would have worked better in their human forms. This minor quibble aside what we have is a solid two-hour movie on the excitement, anxiety and pain of love in all it’s many forms.
Many are quick to deride the Twilight films, often those who haven’t seen them as romantic nonsense for teenage girls. For me they are as believable as any Star Wars film with much better dialogue and have more emotional weight than most of the Harry Potter films. So leave your grumpy, jaded, cynical head at the door sit back and get swept away in the romance of Bella and Edward.
Bill Condon / Melissa Rosenberg / Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson & Taylor Lautner / 117 min / Drama, Fantasy / Release: 18 November 2011 (US/Canada/Irl/UK)