Twilight, Neruda and a Floppy Ear

Posted on February 10, 2011

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Love Sonnet XI

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your proud face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

And I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

— Pablo Neruda

Now who would have thought that Twilight would have anything in common with Neruda. But here it is! When I picked up the book at a bookstore the only thing I knew about the book was that it is an enormously popular vampire romance. I was in the mood for some light reading so I purchased it. Back at home, I realised that it is a highschool vampire romance. Despite feeling a little foolish, I braved on. There is no other way to say this — it was terrible. But I could understand its appeal and I knew it right away that it will make an entertaining film, provided they cast the right actors.

So it was with great curiosity that I sat down to watch the film. I am thrilled that the film is better than the novel. The film was lacking in a lot of departments but it more than made up for that with its terrific casting.

Ladies and gentlemen! Here’s presenting Bella Swan, our heroine — a drooling, doormat in the book but in the film, she is an edgy and weary teen who can bite, if needed.

Sulky and angsty

And of course Edward Cullen — the sexy vampire who has learned to control his thrist [All puns intended]. Edward Cullen, I imagine, is a very difficult part for an actor to play. How on earth do you play an impossibly beautiful, dangerous, sweet, conflicted, courteous vampire? Well, for a start, you can begin by being very handsome.

So without any further delay, here’s Edward Cullen —

With a face like that he can bite anyone he wants!

In the acting department, Kristen Stewart takes the honours. She plays Bella with a wry humour and little off-hand touches. To wit: Her amusement when the waitress lingers around Edward or when she is unable to stop herself from asking Edward if he wears contact lens. Robert Pattinson is good, especially in moments when Edward is enjoying a private joke. Like when Bella, who doesn’t suspect that he is a vampire, suggests that they “hang out together” or when he explains his strength by telling her that he had an adrenaline rush and she can google it. But it is when Edward has to mouth the corniest lines in movie history that Robert looks silly.

The really bad parts were the ones that had special effects (vampire baseball — ’nuff said!) and God oh God — the makeup. It looked like someone threw all the actors who were playing vampires in a flour mill and put them in front of the camera without giving them a dusting.

But in a movie like this what is of prime importance is whether the leads have chemistry and whether there are some good, romantic moments. The answer to both the questions is yes. Kristen and Robert look smashing together and there are some very pretty and quiet moments in the film; notably, the meadow scene and the scene in Bella’s bedroom when they kiss for the first time.

It’s the kind of film that’s fairly easy to like — a puppy with one floppy ear.

“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb”
“What a stupid lamb!”
“What a sick, masochist lion!”

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Posted in: Reviews