WEIRDLAND: "New Moon" script review

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"New Moon" script review

"New Moon", the sequel to last year’s box office sensation Twilight, continues the story of Bella Swan, an ordinary high school student, and Edward Cullen, the vampire she falls in love with. New Moon, on the other hand, shows us what happens when the honeymoon period is over and the star-crossed lovers start to realize the implications of what they’re doing. Bella and Edward are still together and going strong, although Bella is increasingly frightened by the thought of becoming older than the immortal Edward. After one of Edward’s brothers tries to attack Bella at her birthday party, Edward decides he can no longer continue their relationship and abruptly leaves town with his family. As the devastated Bella recovers, she grows closer to Jacob Black, a Quileute Indian boy whose feelings for Bella are not strictly platonic. If teen romance is what draws you to the film, then New Moon probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you—like me—were a fan of the darker aspects of the first movie, then this has the potential to be a much better, stronger film than the first. Robert Pattinson will have the opportunity to play conflicted and self-loathing—which he did really well in the first film—like never before, and Kristen Stewart’s understated style of acting should serve well for Bella’s quiet melancholy.*I wanted to feel Edward’s presence throughout the movie, even when he is not physically there. When I reviewed the Twilight film back in November, I noted that Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Edward was one of the strengths of the movie. By that time, many of Twilight’s fans had already started to swoon over him, and the frenzy only increased after the movie was released. Yet New Moon requires Pattinson’s character to be gone for more than half of the story. So how can the movie proceed with one of its leads MIA? The script does manage to bring Pattinson back into the picture fairly often while sticking fairly close to Meyer’s Bella-centric vision. But including Edward is one place where the film should have had a distinct advantage over the book, which is limited to Bella’s first-person narration. Although the script gives us a few glimpses into what happens in Edward’s life while he’s not with Bella, it would have been nice to see more—especially to get some insight into how Edward is feeling about the situation. As a reader of the book, it’s impossible not to wonder where Edward disappears to, but as a viewer of the film I imagine this absence will feel even more profound—especially when it could be so easily resolved.
*I wanted the film to give the Jacob character a chance to shine. Given Robert Pattinson’s magnetism and popularity with the fans, it might be tempting to scrimp on the middle of the story and rush through the scenes where Jacob and Bella’s friendship develops. But this dynamic is pivotal to the rest of the plot (both in New Moon and the later stories), and short-shifting it would be doing the film a disservice. One thing I noticed in the last film was that Lautner had a very different chemistry with Kristen Stewart’s Bella than Pattinson did, which is integral to this film. Plus, he was able to stare down Edward without blinking—also very important to the character. *I wanted to see more development of Bella’s relationship with the Cullens. Unfortunately, that did not happen here—though that may be more a failing of the first script than this one. Much of the dynamic between Bella and the Cullens was established during the Twilight novel, and a good bit of that was eliminated in the movie.

*I wanted this script to ease up on the voiceovers. I’ve taken a lot of creative writing classes in my day, and there’s one consistent theme: show, don’t tell.But Bella’s a fairly straightforward character, so it’s not necessary to spell out everything she’s thinking.
Her boyfriend left, she’s sad, we get it. No need to belabor the point". Source:

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