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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Twilight Series, the Movie Essay

Twilight has been one of the movie sensations of 2008. Legions of readers and followers of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer had been up on their seats waiting for the release of the movie and have the book get another life on the screen. It has ignited the curiosity of movie goers, both old and young. Unlike the appeal of other vampire movies such as the legendary Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice which really took vampires seriously, or others which portrayed vampires as beasts and uncontrollable freaks, the Twilight movie infected everyone with a vampire virus which is that of excitement and one feeling that is most familiar to all --- young love.

What made the movie unique is the plot itself and opens up a new genre in film. It is not just an ordinary love story. It is a fusion of feeling that is felt by two separate individuals who are literally different. One who is as human as one can get and the other one who has defied the laws of nature and whose mere existence is a bane to the natural. It may not be realistic to the reality as we know it but the passion that is clearly communicated in Edward's gestures towards Bella is something that is most familiar to us. This is what gives the movie a dash of emotional truth. One can relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed by the power of what one can do to save the person most important to him/her. Like the other movies as previously mentioned the Vampire Chronicles, Interview with the Vampire as its pilot movie, Twilight also shows the intensity of ardent love that a vampire can provide but what takes it apart from the rest is how physical and emotional awakening is very much a part of a vampire's feelings giving the Twilight vampires a more human quality. What then you may ask is the appeal of the Twilight movie?

It's appeal dwells on the fact that chastity has been a constant rule for both Bella and Edward. Despite the intensity of the characters' feelings for each other which is central to the film, no form of adult content has been seen throughout the film. As most modern day movies, sex has been a favorite add-on and always thought to spark the interest of most movies goers. One study conducted regarding violence, sex and profanity in films show that: “today's movies contain significantly more violence, sexual content, and profanity on average than movies of the same age-based rating (e.g., G, PG, PG-13, R) a decade ago” (Thomson & Yokota, 2004). This simply shows that the society we have now has become more open to having adult content in films. It has become non- critical of the growing number of films that showcase sexual and explicit content. Most would think that having these in the movie is a necessity and only illustrates reality. However, these content may be substituted with other forms to emphasize a point. Still, it is not easy to do. Definitely, twilight gets a thumbs up for managing this. Without the use of sex, it managed to get across to the audience. Combined with a good storyline one can say that the fantasy and surreality of the film is very tasteful.It does a thing for the imagination and is a fresh break from the usual. When you say usual, it means the numerous teen movies that are increasing in numbers. Examples of which are high school sports and cheerleader movies that are abound.

What makes all these other movies and Twilight similar are the target age groups. These movies are aimed for the teens who can definitely relate to the plots of these films. They all dwell on the compexeties of the lives of teenagers. That includes the excitement of school, peer pressure as well as emotional pressures. Most of these movies have the school as their setting place as well.It is a good attraction for most teenagers because it is a place where they spend most of their time. It is common knowledge that the teenage years are the time when a person experiences a lot of struggles. There are a lot of pressures that come from all around and it is a time when one gets to be easily influenced. Some of the teenage movies being shown today with sexual and explicit content have great effects emotionally to teens. Adolescence is a time when the person is most curious and learns to explore more mature things. With more movies that have improper content being released today, it distorts the teens beliefs about cultural norms. With more exposure to sexual content in what they watch, they may develop this perception that sex is central to daily life and may engage in it at an early stage. In addition, it may also distort their idea of the consequences of engaging in this acts. They may consider it as casual and harbor the same behavior that they view from the screen. This is certainly a negative effect that is cultivated by the media. It is alarming since the media is one of the most effective ways of influencing behaviors of children at a young age. Considering the availability of different visual media forms in the internet, it is not surprising that even at a very young age children are aware of sexual subjects. The media provides models for risky behavior that the young imitate. What then takes Twilight apart from all the other teen films?

Twilight, as a movie did an outstanding job at eliminating sexual content in the film. It is very notable that despite the intense feelings that the main characters have for each other, they maintained a proper realtionship. It did not need sex to emphasize the communication of love between the characters. It became a box office hit and was even followed by another sequel. It still goes to show that there is no need for adult content for a movie to be patronized. This should be set as a standard for other films targeted for the teen audiences because it revives the importance of morality and exercising it. The elimination of graphic sex, which is a faithful representation of the book, makes Twilight a movie that can be recommended. Concern about the content on movies dates back to the beginning of the film industry and it is without dismay that Twilight somehow alleviated such concern. Chastity being exercsed in the film makes it stand above the rest and gives it more class and praise.


Kimberly M. Thompson and Fumie Yokota, Medscape General Medicine 6(3) (July 13, 2004) Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/480900 PDF

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