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New Moon Dissected

Movie review of the second film of the Twilight Saga: New Moon.

         New Moon is depressing and at times it can be considered annoying and even boring. But it is also captivating and fun. Yes, I am talking about the same movie. The thing about New Moon is that it is the second part of the Twilight series and it is true to the book it is based on.

          Everything I said above about the movie goes for the book too. If you like Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson)- the gorgeous, sensitive, overprotective and brooding vampire, New Moon may not be that satisfactory. You see Edward doesn’t have much screen time. You can say the male lead is Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) friend Jacob Black, who later transforms into a shapeshifter. In the beginning of the movie Bella has a birthday. During her party at the Cullens’, she has a minor paper cut- but the little amount of blood is enough to trigger Jasper’s (Jackson Rathbone) thirst. He tries to attack Bella- is prevented by both Edward and the rest of the family. But this potentially very dangerous incident is enough to make Edward’s mind up. He says goodbye to Bella, takes his family and leaves town. Of course the only way to convince Bella not to come with him is to say he doesn’t want her anymore. This sends Bella into a deep depression and a series of awful nightmares. She finds comfort in hanging out with her friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner). At first things are fun and simple and he takes Bella’s mind off Edward most of the time. But things change pretty soon. Jacob considers Bella more than a friend and even though he promises to stick around, he starts avoiding her after a while. Without Jacob’s company, Bella’s depression is back. The real reason behind Jacob’s behavior however is not Bella’s rejection of him romantically. He is going through a painful transformation: He is a shapeshifter. He has the power (or the curse) of turning into a giant wolf. He is just trying to protect Bella from himself. Of course being Bella she doesn’t stay away. She finds out and she just tries to adapt: Vampire ex and best friend werewolf. She never truly recovers from Edward’s departure though and performs one stupid act after another.

            Did it sound depressing, emotional and a little sappy? Well, it is. The  books goes on for hundreds of pages about Bella’s state of mind, the emptiness she feels, her friendship and complicated relationship with Jacob. Now of course at some point Edward appears again and there is a great climax so if you like the book, there is a chance you will enjoy the movie too.
 
            Now let’s get to the much debated target audience issue. Do only teenagers like this movie? No. Does it have a female dominated audience? Yeah. Do women tend to enjoy it more? Sure. This review is coming from a 25-year-old female, for instance. As much as I like good thrillers and solid films with multi-dimensional characters and unexpected twists (Memento, for one),  I have always liked a beautiful and romantic vampire whether it is a TV show/book/movie character: Angel, Bill Compton (True Blood), Lestat (Queen of the Damned), Mick St. John (Moonlight) and last but not least the lovely Edward Cullen. Call it a girl thing or guilty pleasure. But just let me address to and sum up all the arguments going on in the forums and in discussions with real life friends (girls vs boys, twilight fans vs the movie haters, etc):

- The story:

I read Twilight and New Moon and I am halfway into Eclipse. The books are fun! If you like vampires and shapeshifters; a fictional world where everlasting and unconditional love exists and where some characters have the blessing/curse of staying forever young, the movie is just another way of reliving that world.

- Books vs. the movie:

Sure, I think I would have shot it differently. I would make the music less dominant, the wolves smaller yet much more realistic, the acting better……The list can go on forever. And I would definitely,definitely have not shot the extra stupid scene with Edward and Bella running in the woods. But I am not in Hollywood, Stephenie Meyer picks the music and the director calls the shots. Reading the book, you call the shots. You are the director and the cinematographer and the casting director. Edward looks more real. Hell, Jacob is supposed to be a hell taller than Taylor Lautner.Whatever! Hollywood’s version is the visualisation we get. Yes, it is not that good but it is not that bad either.

- Are Jacob and Edward possessive, abusive control freaks who treat Bella like property?

    Oh, give me a break!!! Let’s see: Jacob is a poor, unfortunate teenage boy. He is 16, yet in addition to the painful process of growing up, he has to deal with his unrequited feelings for his best friend and he finds out vampires and werewolves do exist and that he belongs to the latter category? He has to deal with the painful process of transformation and the alienation that brings him. Excuse him for being a little edgy! And what property? He likes the girl and he loves spending time with her. And he doesn’t mind getting his own ass into trouble to protect Bella. If that’s abusive, we really start thinking of another word for violent/inconsiderate/insensitive guys/boys out there. And Edward is extra protective because Bella is one of the clumsiest characters in fiction history. Even without evil vampires chasing her, she has the potential of getting into trouble. So, yeah- he tries to protect her- from herself, himself and others. His leaving is a STUPID thing to do, but then again as much as he is 109, this is first time in love. Give the guy some room for irrational and hasty behavior.

- Is Bella anti-feminist?

    No. She is many things: she is too plain, too emotional, too dependent on Edward,…Yeah, I noticed. She  does need hobbies and passions other than Edward and best friends other than Jacob. But that doesn’t make her anti-feminist. She is just another person acting stupid when she is in love and heart-broken. I have seen many friends over break-ups and trust me, they are not any better than Bella when it comes to coping. And the guys they are trying to get over not half as nice as Edward. They miss guys who mistreat them, cheat on them, dump them for no good reason…At least Edward had a noble reason to leave and he was a good boyfriend. So give Bella some room to self-destruct. And remember Forks supposedly sees more rain than Seattle. You remember some of the Seattle-based musicians? Kurt Cobain, for instance? Yeah- his music was so cheerful. And some good suicide rates come from Scandinavia. My point: constant bad weather plus the loss of the love of your life? You could cranky too…

          I can understand why guys are tempted to hate the movie. I can understand why there are girls who hate the movie too. It is not a great movie by any means. But what the movie has to offer is so obvious. The “cheesy” love story leaks all over from the posters and trailers. Why bother to go in the first place, unless you wanted to have a bad time, then?

New Moon represents mindless, harmless entertainment. It tends to get boring during the depressed bits, but then depression has never been fun, has it? The reason behind all the hype and the box office success is simple: A vampire madly in love with a human sells (tragic,impossible love stories sell. Did you see Titanic? At least this movie offers more fun) and sex/beauty sells: that’s why we have Robert Pattinson and that’s why Taylor has worked on the abs. They might not be everyone’s type. But then we have whole supply of men with different looks: Jasper, Emmett, Carlisle, Sam from the wolf pack….It is pure escapism and unless they have a fascination for the vampire world & fantasy romances, guys should stay away. The imdb rating is 4.5. Fair enough. As a whole, when considered as a movie without the book, I would probably give it a 5. Consider the books and the world Meyer has created: it is a 7.

Did I dwell on everything too much and went on for too long? Oops. But I did mention I loved a good old romantic vampire story, right? 

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3 Comments
  1. Posted December 4, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I m sooooooooooooooooo in LOVE wid EDWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Itz like i see myself as BELLA in d movie!I dream of him!I wanna b a vampire by him!I think of him all d time!What can I say else!I m crazy abt him!I JUST LOVE HIM! UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHSSSSSSSSSSSS

    btw…… i hav my real life edward who’ll do anything 2 protect me :D I LOVE MY REAL LIFE EDWARD MORE DAN ANYTHING ELSE :)

  2. Posted December 13, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Not a big fan of the series but you gave an excellent review. The series just isn’t for me but I can understand the attraction

  3. Posted December 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I just wanted to make sure people got in to see the movie for the right reasons ;)

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