The best way to go into this adaptation of Stephenie Meyerâ€™s novel is with an open mind. Thatâ€™s a tall order for the devoted fans of this series, I understand. But just like fans of the Harry Potter books, they are faced at this point with a pretty simple choice: idealism or realism?
If they choose idealism, theyâ€™re likely to be disappointed. Yes, the relationship between Edward and Bella has been â€œHollywoodized.â€ Yes, the film doesnâ€™t take the time to develop their passion for each other the way the book does. But would that even be possible? Yes, director Catherine Hardwicke did go for a sort of â€œgreatest hitsâ€ approach to some of the scenes, trying to fit all the best lines in.
But realistically, this might be the best Twilight movie Hollywood could make, at least as a blockbuster. For one thing, Meyer had almost total control over how the material was presented, and she demanded that the basic principles of the book not be violated. That means no fangs, or any of the typical vampire stuff she worked hard to keep out of the books. Basically the film is pretty true to the books.
OK, so as a fan you might complain they shouldnâ€™t have tried to make this a blockbuster in the first place. With all the bookâ€™s fans worldwide? Of course they were going to make it a blockbuster! And you may not like Robert Pattinson as Edward (though I canâ€™t believe anyone would find fault with Kristen Stewart as Bella). Itâ€™s not possible that every aspect of how a fan envisioned the story is going to come across on screen. But this movie is going to appeal to most fans, and bring in droves of people who donâ€™t even know the book yet. Thatâ€™s enough to build the franchise. Perhaps, like Harry Potter, theyâ€™ll use that to build the sequels into distinctive movies of their own and let other directors try their hands.