The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

reviewed by
Tim Voon

Film Review - The Twilight Saga: New Moon 2009
By Tim Voon
3 out of 5 stars

NEW MOON is the second book in the Stephanie Meyer best selling series THE TWILIGHT SAGA. It is also the lull point of this saga as much as THE TWO TOWERS was a lull point for THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY. This is not to say that it is of any less consequence than the other parts of the Saga, in fact all good stories have lull points, it allows relationships to be explored, characters to develop and gives a moment of the reader/watcher to reflect on what has gone past and what is yet to come.

One of the greatest criticisms I have heard so far for this movie is where is Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson)? He is perhaps in the first and last twenty minutes of the film with some fleeting ghost images of him somewhere in the middle. This is also true of the novel - he only appears in the first few chapters and the last few chapters.

NEW MOON is not so much about the romance of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward as seen in TWILIGHT; but more so about the harsh realities Bella faces without Edward. With every great relationship there must come a testing point, to see how well this relationship holds up to the pressures of life and tribulation. For Bella and Edward it is this. She is mortal and he is well ... a vampire. At Bella's birthday party with the Cullen Family of vampires, a simple paper cut sends Jasper into a mad feeding frenzy and Bella almost becomes the meal. Edward has to make a very difficult choice - to stay and love Bella at the risk of her mortality, or to leave and let her lead a life of safety and normality. Edward chooses to leave.

I believe that this is an important and poignant part of the movie and the story, but much duress to many a Robert Pattinson (Edward) fan. His absence actually speaks louder than words can describe or the screams heard from Bella in her nightly nightmares. He was such a presence in the first movie and book, the colossus that Bella could rely to save her and then suddenly, he is gone, his voice silent until the end of the movie. Kristen Stewart puts in a wonderful performance as the tortured Bella, whose reason for living is ripped from her and her reasons for dying made clear. Her depression is so deep that only a best friend can help bring her through this darkness and back into light.

And that friend is Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Remember Bella's childhood friend, the small Indian boy from the nearby reservation in TWILIGHT. Well, he has buffed up into a six pack, road stallion with testosterone over brewing. I guess the comfort for most of the female viewers is, if you cannot feast your eyes on the perfect, statuesque, classical beauty of Robert Pattinson, why not have a field day gawking at the muscle hardened, boyishly handsome, hunk that is Taylor Lautner.

Thus, this brings us to one of the most argued points in the TWILIGHT SAGA. Are you an Edward fan or are you a Jake fan?

Edward is the epitome of male beauty and perfection. He is every woman's fantasy. He is as cool and aloof as the moon's beam shimmering on water. Jake is human reality, he is earth bound, warm like sunlight, ordinary (except for those biceps). Author, Stephanie Meyer has cleverly provided Bella with this dilemma and it is definitely a draw point for her fans. Do you side with the best friend Jake or the boyfriend Edward? I side with the best friend and reality, and am thus in the minority.

NEW MOON is the story of Bella and Jake's friendship which is vital in the coming two films ECLIPSE and BREAKING DAWN. There is also a misnomer that Jake and his Indian friends are werewolves. They are in fact shape shifters who inherited this power from their ancestors as a defence mechanism against the vampires. If you are interested in the science behind this, I believe humans carry 23 pairs of chromosomes, shape shifters carry 24 and vampires have 25 pairs. Don't quote me on this but it is written somewhere in one of her novels.

I digress.

Overall, I did enjoy the quiet of NEW MOON. It is the morning coffee after the night of champagne that was TWILIGHT. It has a harsher tone and reality about it. The cool blue and green tones of the first movie give way to darker colours like orange and browns. It has been handled well by Diretor Chris Weitz, who has captured the essence of the novel.

Fortunately, I missed the bedlam that was the midnight screening release of this movie and attended a session the following day, at a more sane hour. The cinema was filled 90 percent by women, as to be expected and I will probably be seeing this movie again with friends this coming weekend.

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