Monday 23 November 2009

Review: New Moon

Year: 2009
Director: Chris Weitz
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg
Starring: Kirsten Strewart, Robert Patterson, Taylor Lautner and Micheal Sheen (for some reason)

Synopsis is here

Love and angst seem to go hand in hand, and some people love to see that at the movies. I don't mind either to be fair with you, in fact some of my favorite films are indeed angsty tales of love. But for love stories to work there must be something to hang on to. It is this reason that I can't see what all the fuss is about when it comes to the new tween favorite "The Twilight Saga". The star crossed lovers declare their affections constantly, but not once do I believe them.

New Moon is the next phase (sorry) in the Twilight series and as it's the second feature, it is a time for me as a viewer to get into these characters a bit more as they raise the stakes (sorry again) and build upon the foundations made within the first film. In the case of these series of films, it should be the loving relationship that was supposedly constructed by Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Patterson). The problem I have with this is quite simple; there wasn't that much of a relationship in the first place. The first film did a pretty useless job of making me believe that these guys were a couple and the second film does even worse in making me believe that they've continued one. At no point do these people ever look in love. Their relationship is cold and emotionless and while I understand that the film has a dark tone but no effort is placed within New Moon (or Twilight for that matter) to make me feel that these people were made for each other.

This couple is constantly miserable, whether they're together or not. The acting doesn't help, Stewart's incessant eye fluttering seems only to say that they laid the eyeliner a little thick, while Patterson believes that furrowing his brow means that he's displaying a wide range of complex emotions. Their talk of love is so devout of feeling, it makes the characters of Closer look like stars of a Cameron Crowe film. It doesn't help that the basis of their love is built upon the fact that, Edward wants her "desirable" blood and Bella likes shiny things (Edward is "beautiful" and also sparkles in sunlight).

It also makes New Moon's most important sub plot involving old friend/new lover Jacob (he's also a werewolf) even more frustrating because he and Bella actually HAVE a somewhat believable relationship. This love triangle is an isosceles one because where this Jacob fella is not only well built but he also has a personality, a history with Bella and has natural charm (portrayed relatively well by Taylor Lautner) while Edward...can sparkle and furrow his brow well good.

All the hard work by Jacob means nothing in the long run because A) Bella is a selfish manipulative cock tease (well everyone in the film is but Bella's actions to Jacob throughout are strangely harsh particularly her thoughts at the end) and B) The troublesome Mormon race issue arises; Jacob is a Native American, he is also considered to be a dog, a mutt and a wild animal compared to those sparkly pale faces with their wonderful restraint and ability to curb their baser urges. Yes! Jacob is a buck in the purist sense, he never had a chance with the virginal beauty that is Bella Sawn.

This is me looking far too deeply into what is a film, not targeted at myself but at tweens who like to believe in love at first bite (again sorry) and only care about smoldering good looks to make affection work. But usually I can appreciate a good romance done well; from the corny (yet structured) love story in Titanic to that moment where Di Caprio and Danes lock eyes by the fish tank in Romeo and Jullet, a love story which Twilight strives to be with it's obvious references but fails to hit the mark constantly. Despite this the film is still critic proof and has already made a killing at the box office, however, I feel its a shame that such success has come to a movie that is so bland, and so shallow and so lacking of feeling. But hey, all those boys went to Transformers 2 didn't they?

Hear Byron talk more about this movie at Geekplanetonline