Tuesday, 8 December 2009

James Holden- New Moon Review

The Twilight Saga’s second instalment may satisfy hardcore fans, but anyone with any brains at all will realise that it is just a slow pace, excessively long movie with an ongoing relentlessly downcast tone. New Moon lacks SO much: A strong female protagonist, joy, a positive message to young women and above all, shirts.
The film opens with the 18th birthday of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), one of the most vapid and irritating leading characters in film history. While most teenagers would be more than delighted turning 18, Bella can do nothing but sulk and quiver in the presence of her dreamy, pale-skinned, cold vampire love muffin, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison).
Later on in the day, Bella and Edward are whispering to each other when Edward tells her he wished he knew how to kill himself. Happy Birthday?
At Bella’s birthday party, hosted by the Cullen family, all of whom are vampires, Bella gets a paper cut while opening one of her presents. One of the vampires smells the blood and tries to attack Bella, but Edward protects her by accidentally throwing her into a glass table thus giving her a worse injury. Bella ends up with Dr. Cullen and she tells him that she wants to be changed into a vampire. Dr. Cullen responds by telling her that his family are damned and that changing her would make her soulless. Edward, who constantly looks like he has just come from a GQ photo shoot, expresses how worried he is that he will hurt her one day, so decides to leave and never return.
Straight after the break-up we see Bella shut down completely. In the first movie, Twilight, Edward described Bella as “my own personal brand of heroin” and, in the months that follow, her heartbreak resembles a form of cold turkey whose symptoms include extreme nightmares, loud screaming and locking herself away from the rest of the world.
The female love interest in the movie has totally the wrong idea about relationships, and has little bearing on real life, or independence. Bella is displayed as not only horribly weak, but completely co-dependent on a lover. She is portrayed to have a constant need for someone in her life to make her naturally incomplete and empty soul be filled by a companion.
New Moon often makes small references to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, trying to make the movie seem like a modern version of the famous love story. Bella is reading the play at the beginning of the film and in class Edward recites a depressing monologue from a movie adaptation. However New Moon has definitely got nothing to do with love, but instead extreme teenage infatuation.
After five months of ‘dealing’ with the break-up, that should have caused hospitalization, Bella finally drags herself out of the house and decides to behave recklessly, seeing as Edward had asked her not to. This shows how Bella Swan cannot think for herself or do anything which does not relate to a dominant male.
Thankfully, Bella discovers that she can cling onto the other hot man in her life, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Jacob soon joins up with the local bad boys, who never wear shirts. No matter the weather, location, or situation, these men will not wear shirts, a torrential downpour doesn’t even stop them from being topless – the movie is filled with more six-packs than Kerry Katona’s fridge; grotesquely exploiting the hormone enraged teenage girl audience.
Bella continues behaving recklessly, trying to escape from her pain. She eventually tries to kill herself and then covers it up with the excuse that she was cliff diving. The characters in the film are built up to be so lost in one another that one of them feels the need to “no longer go on living”. The glorification of suicide in this film is so strong it is almost sickening, especially as the target market is impressionable teenagers having a hard time figuring out their place in life.
After Jacob finds out about Bella’s suicide attempt, he confesses to her that he is a werewolf and just a split second of anger could cause him to lose control and seriously hurt her. Her response: “That will never happen because I will always tell you how special you are.” This is a girl who will never argue or question the man she loves because otherwise he may lose control and beat her within an inch of her life. However it won’t be his fault; he just has a monster inside him which he can’t control.
The author, Stephanie Meyer, is a Mormon and her religious beliefs are blatant in the whole story. Meyer believes that sex before marriage is wrong, even if the female wants to, is over 18 and her boyfriend isn’t pressuring her. Meyer gets this message across subconsciously to the audience by painting the ideal man as an asexual protector who treats his girlfriend like a small child, enforcing that if they have sex before getting marriage, “changing” her will make her lose her soul.
I am appalled that there’s not even a hint of a moment where Bella has an interest of her own other than whether or not a man can protect her and what she can do to serve him. I also find it offensive that Bella is so selfish that she doesn’t seem to even care if she hurts her own devoted father or pulls away from the people who are supposedly her friends.
Twilight: New Moon strongly promotes: Weakness, Co-Dependency, Objectified Sexual Tension, Suicide, Contrived Romanticism and Parental Abandonment. All of these messages are poison, and perpetuate the very fundamental flaws of society’s direction today.
Two questions about this movie remain at the forefront of my mind: How troubling is it that this movie will most likely gross way over $200 million while having such repulsive messages? And why won’t someone give these hot Native Americans some shirts?

(There's a great article exploring the psychology of 'New Moon' here:


Whatdya reckon Cullenettes?)-Mr D

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