Tuesday, 24 November 2009

New Moon: Movie Review

“Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars—points of light and reason. …And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything was black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything.”

Edward Cullen, Page 514, New Moon

The above quote is to me, the centerpiece of why New Moon is perhaps one of my favourite novels. It does not appear within the screenplay of the novel’s film adaptation. It is a pity because it might as well have. The second film in the Twilight Saga is predictably very faithful to the written word. Readers should note this with caution. Lovers of the literary series, like myself will gorge on this movie for every second of its running time. The haters will inevitably complain as well they might, but they seem to miss the point entirely, as this film was not made for them in mind.

I read the New Moon novel in one day. That was New Year’s Eve 2008. It was very gripping quite simply because its one of the best romance novels ever written. It is the 21st century equivalent to Wuthering Heights or any Austin novel. Girl loves boy, boy breaks up with girl, girl goes into debilitating depression, finds solace in the company of another temporarily, loses them as well, attempts suicide, only to find her true love once more. Forget all the supernatural bullshit because I do. Even though at the time of reading the novel I was nowhere close to being in love, I understood the pain of Bella and empathised with her. But now that I am experiencing the type of pain that Bella endured through New Moon, my adulation for the book and the movie has grown even further. Say all you like about the writing technique, but that’s a great skill to have as an author. I echoed this when I reviewed the book.

What can I say except that the series is getting better and better and is becoming more and more addictive than I ever had anticipated. The characters are more clearly defined, the plot even more hectic than its predecessor and the little annoyances that I had identified in Twilight have now faded into the background making this a superior novel.

Twilight merely provides the jumping off point for all the events of New Moon to come in to place, where both the characters and the readers’ loyalties are tested once more. The love story is forever intensified and the consequences of every action both insignificant and otherwise are integral. I cannot wait to step into Bella’s world once more

Essentially these same comments apply when comparing the two movie versions as well. Of course given the bigger budget of New Moon the special effects have dramatically improved as they needed to. But it’s the simple things that the movie does well. My favourite sequence in the movie is early on, immediately after Edward leaves Bella and there’s a single continuous tracking shot that swells around Bella’s head as she is stuck in the same pose. Month after month rolls by and no lines of dialogue are spoken, it is just a symbol of the pain and grief slowly eating away at Bella’s insides.

The Saga has become such a pop culture phenomenon now that the spectacle detracts from the material and this is a pity. Sure Kristen Stewart may be the sexiest woman in the world right now, but is it really necessary to have minute by minute reporting following her every move? To be sure each of the three leads do their job well, with Stewart being the clear standout, being on screen for almost the entire movie (making me a very happy boy). But lets be clear, this is a genre piece through and through. You won’t be seeing any of the male leads in a Scorsese film any time soon.

This is the one problem with New Moon as with the Twilight Saga as a whole. The public at large tries to make the series into several things it is not. It not a commentary on Generation Y, nor is it a representation of its time. It is not even a particularly well done horror series. It should not be infesting every orifice of pop culture. It is simply one of the greatest romances of the 21st century. It is a pity the world cannot see that. Do as I do: check your brain at the door, spend all your time staring into Kristen Stewart’s eyes and let your emotions take over.

2 comments:

  1. I can't help but love the rose coloured lenses you must have had on reading this...

    I will say this, New Moon is Romeo and Juliet, rewritten...badly...YET...I, too, enjoyed the read. Something about it appeals to some inner teen longing that I think never leaves us!

    Very sad to hear you are sad x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Caf,

    My own personal Saga is still stuck somewhere in the middle of New Moon, lets hope it finds its way to the conclusion of that book quickly.

    ReplyDelete