I have not read the books so coming from someone who has no idea about the franchise or its fan following, Twilight is pretty good. It will though appeal mostly to the young adolescents and especially girls and yes my wife too. The story is about young Kristen Stewart (Isabella “Bella” Swan) who moves to Forks, Washington to be with her father Billy Burke (Charlie Swan) from Phoenix, Arizona because her mother Sarah Clarke (Renée) has remarried a minor league baseball player and is on the road with him. Bella though hesitant has no choice till her mother and stepfather settle down before she can move in with them.
Over at Forks, Washington Bella finds she has to find her bearings with her father Charlie with whom she has obviously not spent much time and added to that the woes of fitting into a new school and making new friends. Bella does fit in well as everybody wants to be friends with the new pretty teenager with the exception of Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) who even asks to be put in a different class from her. Events take a different turn when Edward saves Bella from an accident during which he exhibits superhuman behavior by appearing from out of nowhere and then exhibits superhuman strength by stopping a vehicle from crashing into Bella by his bare hands. This breaks the ice between them and they become friends but Bella is fascinated and also bewildered at times by Edward’s behavior and his frequent disappearances when the weather turns hot and sunny. Bella starts digging around for information and finds that Edward and his family are vampires who have settled in the Forks area and have sort of reformed in that they do not hunt humans but only prey on animals for their blood i.e. vegetarian vampires as Edward puts it.
Bella’s friend Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black) and his father Gil Birmingham (Billy Black) are native American Indians who are descended from werewolves and are enemies with the vampire family of the Cullens but there is a truce between them because the Cullens having turned into vegetarians. Along a parallel line Cam Gigandet (James) plays a vampire who along with a couple of his friends is passing through the area of Forks and very obviously is also hunting down humans for food and sport begin the villains they are. Bella and Edward start seeing more of each other and Edward starts feeling very protective towards Bella and even saves her life from muggers on one occasion and very soon they end up falling in love. The movie then moves along till James begins to hunt Bella for food and how Edward along with the rest of his family saves Bella and kills James. The movie ends with the prom night of Bella and Edward where Bella asks Edward to turn her into a vampire but Edward refuses thus leaving the stage wide open for further sequels.
The story is predictable and yet not. I really liked it for what it was not, a vampire love story. From childhood the vampire movies I have watched have been very clichéd in that all vampires are bad, they fear the cross and have to be killed by driving a stake through their heart, or by using silver and/or garlic. Twilight however takes a refreshingly different take on the vampire story and is in fact mainly the love story of a teenager Bella Swan who falls in love with a vampire. The movie’s main strength lies in the chemistry between Bella and Edward and their performances. Kristen Stewart who plays young Bella has certainly come of age and is just about perfect as the shy and insecure teenager wanting to fit in.