By: Chris Weitz
Devoted readers and fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, brace yourself.
After falling in love with the handsome vampire and dreamy Edward and wishing you
were Bella, “New Moon” the movie makes you look at the book’s characters and story
line in a whole new light—a rather faint and dim one.
Directed by Chris Weitz, the
second film in the Twilight series begins on Bella’s 18th birthday in the town of
Forks, Washington. Edward Cullen--Bella’s true love--and his family throw her a
party and while opening a gift, Bella, played by Kristen Stewart, cuts her finger.
Unable to hold himself back from the taste of human blood, Edward’s brother, Jasper,
attempts to kill Bella. After Edward, played by Robert Pattinson, fends him off,
Carlisle, a doctor and father to Edward, bandages Bella’s wounds. Edward soon
reveals that he and his family must leave town without her to protect her by
preventing an incident like Jasper’s outburst from happening again.
follow Bella throughout the following months, we watch her experience depression and
moroseness from Edward’s absence. However, when she invites Jacob Black, the
werewolf heartthrob, back into her life, Bella is lifted out of her lifeless and
emotionless state. Played by Taylor Lautner, Jacob spends hours with Bella while
fixing up her battered motorcycle. When he pulls off his shirt, Lautner exposes his
hard abs and newly formed biceps that don’t only catch Bella’s eye but any gooey,
heart-struck teenage girl’s.
If you were deeply connected to the book and Meyer’s
characters, you’ll probably find yourself detached from the film’s. As seen in the
first movie, Stewart appears yet again too tough and masculine for the frail Bella
conveyed in the novel. The only glimpse of her innocence observed in the movie was
during a scene that caused an immediate uproar of laughter that I almost needed a
tissue to wipe my eyes. When Alice has a vision that Bella will become a vampire in
the future, we see Bella frolic through the forest with Edward, both of them wearing
white, loose clothing as their vampire skin glitters in the sunlight. What exactly
was Weitz thinking when he decided to dress the couple like peasant children running
blissfully in slow motion? If he was trying to incite sheer amusement than he
definitely succeeded. The movie Bella and Edward seem nothing other than angelic and
carefree children running through the forest, a completely different portrayal than
that which was conveyed through the novel.
But the laughs do not stop there. When
Jacob comes into Bella’s house to see that she is safe from any vampires, he finds
her with Alice. They get in an argument, Jacob saying “You don’t want to make me
upset. Things could get very ugly.” Again, rather than let the audience feel for the
characters, we end up poking fun at their reactions. Lautner’s inflection and facial
expressions distract from our ability to fully connect with his character. We are
left chuckling at his rather poorly delivered comeback and are unconvinced of his
genuineness to say the least.
Fans of Meyer’s books, don’t set your standards too
high; you’ll most likely be let down. “New Moon” clearly did not shine bright. What
should have been a sentimental and heartfelt movie was rather a humorous and poorly
filmed one. Compared to the first film, Weitz did not accomplish much more than the
original director, Catherine Hardwicke, whose film failed to meet the expectations
of book lovers like myself; let’s hope that Weitz or director of the next book,
Eclipse, proves the past trend wrong.
New Moon. Dir. Chris Weitz. Perf. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison. Summit Entertainment, 2009. Film.
Reviewer: Catherine Sze