“Twilight” Triumphant

It was two minutes to midnight Thursday when girls at the University Regal Cinema, and probably many theaters across the nation, broke out with a chant of “Edward, Edward, Edward,” as they waited for the film Twilight to begin.

I was sitting with my friend, hoping that the girls would not progress into squealing fans when Edward Cullen, played by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’s Robert Pattinson, appeared on screen.

Edward is the main character in the Twilight book series — the first of which was the inspiration for the movie — about a Romeo-and-Juliet-esque love story between a vampire and a human.

Twilight began years ago with one small, successful novel, and then morphed into a best-selling series and cultural phenomenon that sparked musical groups, fan sites and conventions.

Three months ago, I had no idea who Edward Cullen was, except that he was on as many Facebook bumper stickers as the Jonas Brothers. Curiosity finally got to me and I did a Google search on his name, which prompted me to buy the first book.

Like many other girls, I became obsessed with the series and soon found myself counting down the days until the release of the film.

As I left the theater early Friday morning however, I was disappointed. Like many fans, I had make the mistake of thinking the movie version should reflect how I imagined the book in my head.

However, after taking a step back, I reminded myself that movies are supposed to be a re-imagination of a novel. One cannot possibly make a two-hour movie directly from a 498-page book.

With this new perspective, I found myself in love with the film. The cast, made up of low-profile actors, was phenomenal. As a fan, I had been a little nervous about the people they cast as the Cullen family, especially Elizabeth Reaser as Esme, whose previous claim to fame was ruining Grey’s Anatomy for half of last season. My favorite Cullen in the movie was Rosalie (Nikki Reed). For a character who didn’t have much presence in the first book, Rosalie stole the show.

I was also impressed with how the director, Catherine Hardwicke, portrayed the characters. Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) new friends in Forks, for example, are much cooler, funnier and multicultural in the film. Eric, who in the book is described as a “gangly boy with skin problems” and the “overly-helpful chess-club type,” has been transformed into a hip, attractive, potentially gay Asian.

The most important character portrayals, however, were the two main characters, Edward and Bella. Stewart was amazing as Bella, bringing the misfit tomboy to life and perfectly capturing her unparalleled clumsiness.

I thought I was going to love Pattinson as Edward, but I had mixed feelings. In his defense, it has to be hard to represent a character whose looks are compared to a Greek god. My dislike of him may have more to do with the script than with the actor, though. He just didn’t seem written as the chivalrous, 1900s vampire I imagined.

The best part of the film was the baseball scene. The vampires are extremely fast and strong, so they have to wait for thunderstorms to play baseball so they don’t draw the attention of humans. The amazing scene had the vampires dressed in old-school baseball uniforms and an upbeat musical score.

Another enjoyable part of the film was the innuendos, sexual references and jokes that typical teenagers make, which were left out of the very PG book. Instead of always talking about things in a gloomy and romantic fashion, Bella and Edward tell jokes to each other, which made the film feel more real.

Because of his potential ability to kill Bella with just a touch and his gentlemanly virtue, Edward and Bella do nothing more than kiss in the movie. However, the scenes of the two looking soulfully at each other were shot in the same style as Hollywood sex scenes. It is impossible to describe how funny this is unless it is seen on film.

All in all, I cannot wait to see the movie again and I cannot wait until the second one comes out. The movie is not just for fans of the books, though. It brings to life a story that millions fell in love with and millions more will when they see the film.