Yesterday, Twilight was playing on television and it led me to retrospect the good, the bad and the overall craze this franchise garnered all through its cinematic journey. So here I am, penning down some of my observations and analysis about Twilight’s phenomenal craze and how the critics and intellectuals never really favored the film.
If you followed social media closely, you would notice that Twilight’s popularity was clearly divided into 2 categories. First were the ardent fans that were crazy about this work of fiction and more so about the 3 lead protagonists; 2nd category were the haters who found the concept gibberish, story under-developed and performances uninspiring.
Why was there this divide?
Ardent fans were between the age group of 12 to 22, so mostly teenagers. Fantasies, hot looking protagonists and eternal love stories are concepts they connect with and Twilight hit the mark Bang on! Needless to say, haters belonged to the age group of 24 and above, so their mindset and parameters for an all round entertaining film differed. When I say entertaining, it doesn’t mean specifically mainstream or drama or comedy or non-fiction. Look at the Harry Potter series which again like Twilight was a work of fiction. But somehow the fan following Harry Potter gathered right until its 8th installment was far more loyal and less critical.
How did Twilight gather so many fans and haters?
Let’s analyze this sequentially, starting by getting ourselves acquainted with the fact that The Twilight series hugely benefited from the tremendous acclaim Twilight – The Novel received.
When the news of making a Twilight film surfaced, a ripple of excitement spread across the English film industry and viewers alike. Everyone was keen to see how the novel would transform into a motion picture. The film’s eventual release in 2008 made Edward and Bella extremely popular characters; Edward Cullen, in fact came to be known as the sexiest vampire ever. Critically though, Twilight received mixed reactions.
In 2009, Twilight – New Moon hit screens and ardent fans saw Taylor Lautner in a sexier avatar with a six-pack, which he flaunted on more than few occasions. The story although, never got engrossing and critics gave it negative reviews. Even haters came up with trolls like Bella doesn’t ever smile. But so enormous was the craze for Twilight, that basking in the series’ popularity, a spoof “Vampire’s Suck” was theatrically released in 2010.
Twilight – Eclipse released in 2010 and by this time rumours were rife about Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart being in a relationship. Although they never acknowledged it until 2012 when Kristen Stewart’s alleged affair with director Rupert Sanders made the rounds. The film received better reviews than its previous installment New Moon, although the graph never went from mixed reactions to Positive. Eclipse also came to be known for one of the cheesiest lines ever, mouthed by Taylor Lautner to Robert Pattinson when Bella is freezing on a snow-clad mountain and needs warmth to survive. In such a serious moment, Jacob decides to give body heat to Bella by saying to Edward “Lets face it, I am hotter than you”.
2011 saw the release of Breaking dawn – Part 1, the weakest of all installments. Although Breaking dawn – Part 1 expectedly remained popular with fans, critics gave it outright negative reviews. The love scenes between Edward and Bella acquired a lot of pre-release curiosity but on release the film was lack luster with a pace slower than that of a snail.
And finally the last installment from the series, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 released in November 2012, again to a lot of hype and fanfare. The film did receive favourable reviews this time and Bella whose performance throughout the series was termed consistently dull eventually broke out of the lifeless shell as an energized new-born vampire. The finale portions and fight sequences were exhilarating in part-2 and Twilight fans could not have asked for a better conclusion to their favourite vampire series. For non-loyalists however, this was too little, too late.
It is evident and so safe to say, that everyone from the makers to actors, the fans and even haters of the Twilight series were all happy with the conclusion of this extremely popular franchise. The 3 protagonists, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner got synonymous with their screen names Edward, Bella and Jacob, apart from getting a career boost. The makers of the film made a lot moolah. Ardent fans were more than entertained over these years (Trust! I know fans that had Twilight paper cuttings in their bed rooms). And the non loyalists who were not as satisfied with the series were just happy that it is done with and there would be no more vampire sagas.
There is one thing though, we all couldn’t agree more: Loved it or Hated it, you just couldn’t Ignore it.
(Note: I do not own the picture displayed in this blog. It has been added for Pictorial representation sake. All text can get boring to read sometimes)