Before I ever saw Twilight, I saw Water for Elephants and fell in love with Robert Pattinson. Over the years, I caught up on pop culture and saw the Twilight movies. The range of the actor surprised and impressed me as I then watched Bad Mother’s Handbook.
Last week, I went deaf in my left ear. For most people, this would be inconvenient and somewhat tragic. However, for me, I’d already lost the majority of my hearing in my right ear so I woke up the morning of November 14th trapped inside my head. I could watch the world happen around me. The only thing I can hear is whatever comes through the earbud in my right ear, turned up to max volume. As my uncle said recently, thank God my passion is writing, because I don’t have to hear to do that.
While awaiting my test results and my appointment with the specialist, I decided to watch all 26 of Robert Pattinson’s currently available to stream movies. Why? Because he makes me happy. He’s gorgeous, but it’s more than that. His deep emotional connection to his roles shows on camera. I’m a theater teacher (among other things) and use him as an example on occasion.
I made myself a list (because organization is good right?) and started in. As of US Thanksgiving Eve, I’ve finished watching everything that is available to stream on any service. Because Twilight is the most popular, I started there, rewatching the series from beginning to end. Are they the best movies ever made? Definitely not, but they’re amusing and comfortable. Watching his performance grow from movie one to the final installment was fascinating in the new light.
Over the next few blog posts, I’m going to review the ones I’ve seen. What I liked, what I didn’t, and why the projects he’s chosen have sparked my own creativity.
Because it’s the obvious choice, let’s start with the Twilight Saga. Though I’m sure that everyone knows the story at this point, here’s the quick and dirty overview: Girl moves to small, rainy town from big, sunny city. Girl meets boy. Boy wants to kill girl. Boy is a vampire. Girl’s best friend turns out to be a werewolf (kinda). Both girl’s best friend and the vamp are in love with her. Obsessively so. Girl choses vampire. Bad things happen along the way. Girl becomes vampire. More bad things happen. Boy, girl, and werewolf live happily ever after. There’s obviously WAY more to it than that, but, like I said, quick and dirty.
Twilight gets a lot of flack because the vampires sparkle. They are, on occasion, also the violent blood sucking fiends that we all know and love. RP, as he will be known for the rest of these posts, said in one interview that the script notes simply said to growl violently at one point (totally paraphrasing here). Personally, I think he pulls it off. The performance he gives in these movies is brilliant in his portrayal of a tormented being afraid that he’s lost his soul and afraid to take the soul of someone he loves. It’s about the emotion behind the character. While his Edward was somewhat less playful than the vampire in the books, I feel as though the angsty, emotionally destroyed character that he portrayed was more true to the realities of his life. He struggles with every decision he makes. He struggles with whether he has the strength to leave this girl alone even though he knows she’d be better off. He struggles with addiction, which is something I don’t often hear reflected in commentary on Twilight.
I love all things vampire and Twilight is no exception. While Stephanie Meyer definitely had a different take on vampirism than essentially ANYONE ELSE out there, it’s intriguing to explore the topic. I like the touches of old school charm in the character of Edward and the violent intensity of the love (both romantic and platonic) that drives Jacob in all of his choices. I like the emotion. I like that Bella is an awkward potato. Having moved several times when I was younger, I know the feeling of being awkward and, yet, also being the shiny new toy. It’s terrifying and confusing and I feel they did well accentuating that. Yay, she’s not just a hot, popular girl with her head on straight. She’s just as much an emotional train wreck and obsession driven as both of the boys following her around.
Are they the best movies out there? No, but they’re fun and his performance, along with Taylor Lautner, makes me happy. They’re like hot chocolate on a cold morning or a fuzzy blanket in front of the fire. Something I desperately needed in light of the silence around me and the feeling of being trapped inside my own head, a mere observer in the world around me. (This will get better, whether the treatment I’m going through now works or not… but last week, the overdramatic flair of the words was an accurate representation of how I felt)
Up Next: The Haunted Airman