My first initiation to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series was in my early 20s when a young female cousin was ODing on the books. Always a fantasy-lover—and a big fan of Enid Blyton, Harry Potter and the likes—I was excited enough to give it a go as well. I borrowed the first book from the said cousin and began reading.
Soon, I realised how senseless the euphoria around the series was. Somehow, I kept comparing the material to Potter and, needless to say, it fell short on all counts. It lacked, what’s that word again? Aah, magic! It lacked magic. Though I managed to finish the book, I could never warm up to the series. My biggest grouch with the book at that time was people wasted too much time “just talking”. I wanted thrilling action ala Potter.
A couple of days ago, thanks to Netflix, I did a marathon watching of the film series. Decidedly better than the book—in my humble opinion—the films would still not make me go, “Yay, once again.” However, there are a few things that I noticed about the central character, Isabella Swan, mostly called Bella in the books and films. I am listing my grouches—is that the correct usage?—here point-wise:
1. I read somewhere that Kristen Stewart who plays Bella won quite a few awards for her performances in other films before she starred in Twilight. So that would mean she is a decent/good actor, right? Well, pardon my knowledge of what good acting is all about, but based on my watching of the Twilight series, I really don’t think she is a good actor. That woman can’t friggin’ emote. In most scenes, she is frowning, grimacing, looking frozen to death or just looking plain dumbfounded. I understand maybe the script required her to look totally lost having fallen under the spell of a vampire and his world that she doesn’t get, but a girl who is marrying the “love of her life” usually looks happy on her wedding day. Here, she was again frowning, grimacing, looking frozen to death or just plain dumbfounded. Who gave here the role really?
2. The character of Bella is deeply, deeply self-centred. She is only using people—read poor Jacob—and situations to her advantage. When Jacob is about to leave the group protecting her from other vampires, she lures the poor guy by making him kiss her—her BF is standing just a few feet away! When she is feeling cold in the tent, she happily snuggles up to Jacob again, this time within touching distance of her BF. All without a word of thanks to Jacob by the way. And when the poor guy says he loves her—of course, he would when you are kissing and cuddling with him as if there’s no tomorrow—you tell him that you love Edward more. What does that even mean? Basically, you are ensuring that he remains your devoted slave by dangling the “I love you, but I love him more” carrot in front of him, making him hope that maybe one day you will love him more. Shameful behaviour.
3. Why are so many handsome young men willing to die for her? What is it in Bella that they see? She isn’t very beautiful—I am not a looker myself, but I can have an opinion, right? She can’t make scintillating conversation. She isn’t good with people or kids or animals. She isn’t kind, sensitive, sweet or thoughtful. So what is it? Aah, I get it: its her frowning, grimacing, looking frozen to death or just plain dumbfounded. That’s it!
4. The over-riding feeling that I got from a reading of her character is that she is just a young adult/teenager dying for some M&B-isque romance, sex and love. The whole series seems like her personal wet dream. Drop-dead gorgeous guys falling over themselves to be with her. Willing to die for her. People turning their lives upside down for her sake. Worshipping her and putting her on a pedestal. I think this series was Meyer’s personal unfulfilled wet dream as well.
I am very open to reading reverse opinions as well. So in case you have any, please feel free to air them 🙂