Monday 21 December 2009

Forbidden Love

It must be a quality of snobs to have to be pushed in the direction in which multitudes are already running. In this particular case, 17 million readers of the book, and in the first day of film release, at least 3 million viewers. The enormity of Twilight’s success made me conflicted – a bit like going to the dentist to have a tooth pulled out. Not only do you anticipate pain, but also a sense of emptiness and loss afterward. I mean, what is one to expect from a film described as a ‘teenage vampire romance flick’?

And sure, it was a teenage flick, and about vampires and romance, but not quite in that order. The film had two recommendations – the way it was filmed (beautifully), and its eternally animating theme (forbidden love). In this case, the never-to-be-consummated romance is between the awkward and fortunately-named Bella and her ethereal-looking, handsome, and terribly conflicted lover Edward. Bella’s very scent arouses his passions, both as a man and as a vampire. Here we have it – one’s own nature turned against itself. Will they be forever suspended just beyond the reach of each other’s kiss, or shall one of them sacrifice their very essence for love…

Well, probably neither. Meyers isn’t Shakespeare or Keats, and judging by the number of new Twilight books and movies coming out, it might take a very long while for this particular saga to reach its conclusion. And while I might not be tempted to see another installation of the story, now at least I don’t shrink a little inside every time faces of the Twilight protagonists light up the magazine covers. Rather I imagine millions searching, if a bit too earnestly, for a thread to lead them out of the labyrinth to their own love.

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