First things first – Twilight is a vampire-romance novel written by Stephanie Meyer, published in 2005. Until ‘Little, Brown’ Publications realized the potential of this novel, ‘Twilight’ got rejected nearly 16 times. Reaching No. 5 on the New York Times Best Seller List within a month since its release, it took no time at all to rank No. 1. It managed to receive controversial reviews, without being a critics’ favorite, though it was quite obviously the people’s first choice. So why so much noise? It took me a while to figure it out and after reading it for second time I finally got it.
Stephanie Meyer wrote this book brilliantly: first of all, since it is a romance novel, it went back to basics, meaning that her characters, Bella and Edward are young, teenagers who fall in love for the first time, willing to sacrifice everything for their significant half, just like Romeo and Juliet or Heathcliff and Catherine. All the great romances in the history of literature have the adolescence of their characters in common. Having this in mind, Meyers took it a step further. She created thePerfect male character. Edward is the perfect guy. It is as if he fulfills the ideals that every woman or girl worldwide looks for. There is no female out there who hasn’t dreamed of this kind of perfection – of a man that will love no matter what, who is extremely handsome, protective, gentle, clever, rich, funny, strong, jealous, faithful, and mysterious. Edward is flawless, but having a perfect character isn’t interesting, it doesn’t give you much to elaborate on, so he has to have a flaw… and that is where Meyer gets it right, she makes him a vampire. Normally being a demon would overtake all the above, but it doesn’t and you know why? Because it is something that you simply cannot relate to! It’s a flaw that you can’t recognize, you can’t identify with and since you can’t comprehend it, you can easily ignore it, it doesn’t bother you that much.
In 2008 the movie was released, with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson being given the leading roles. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke and written into a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, the ‘Twilight’ movie was a box office success worldwide. This adaptation managed to be as faithful as possible to the book. There were alterations, but they were the kind of alterations that have to be done, in order to make the movie flow, since it is presented as a half drama half adventure film, while the book is just a romance. The chemistry between the actors is pretty good, even though there were strong objections from the public regarding the casting. The scenery was ideal, the photography was compelling, and the soundtrack suits the mood perfectly.
Overall, it is a good adaptation. Personally, I enjoyed both, for different reasons, and even though neither can qualify as life-changing works of art, they both managed to intrigue me.
The Story Behind Twilight (book) at the Official Website of Stephenie Meyer
Twilight (film) at Rotten Tomatoes
Twilight (novel) at Wikipedia
Twilight (film) at Wikipedia
New York Times Best Seller List at the New York Times