Before we left South Africa for our Australian holiday, I was aware that I would be missing the midnight screening of the latest cinematic instalment of the Twilight Saga: New Moon. An event that I was not only looking forward to but one that I had made partial plans for with friends and family. I will not beat around the bush, I was bummed about it. Not only would I miss the midnight premiere but I would also be unable to share the experience with those closest to me. However, that all changed once I stepped foot in the land down under.
I found out that not only were the Aussies releasing the movie a full week before South Africa (18th November vs. 27th November), with midnight premiere and all, but I would also have the opportunity to share the experience with my cousin Terrence (who is currently studying in Melbourne via Monash University’s Study Abroad Program). In essence, everything worked out as planned.
As you may have guessed, I am a self confessed fan of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. I firmly believe that this ‘saga’ offers a long overdue reintroduction to the classic kind of love story made popular by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliette. Granted it does have a supernatural element to it, but that is what gives the story such a fantastic 21st century spin. Not to mention the fact that the story has action, Vampires and Werewolves in it, thus allowing for guys, like myself, to pick up the books without too much ridicule.
I could attempt to offer an unbiased review of the film, but considering how much I enjoyed the books and the first movie, an unbiased opinion is not impossible, but it is highly unlikely. Consequently, I will merely offer a few thoughts on the film as a whole and focus this post more on my overall experience of the event.
I watched the film at the Hoyts cinema complex in Chadstone – which is apparently the biggest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere. To say that the complex was packed, is a gross understatement. There were so many people that one could be forgiven for thinking that the event took place on a blockbuster making Friday or Saturday night. Not on a Wednesday evening after 23:00 (11 pm).
Our $40 (R280) ticket included access to the movie, a free’ Girlfriend’ Magazine *yawn*, a large bucket of popcorn, a large soft drink of your choice and a plastic foil laced collectors edition drinking flask – which is actually pretty cool. If you were lucky enough to obtain an $80 (R560!) ‘La Premiere’ ticket (which, as crazy as the price was, I tried getting but they were sold out), not only were you given access to the ‘La Premiere’ seating and ‘in-cinema’ food menu, along with everything else, but you would have also scored yourself a New Moon T-shirt valued at $20 (R140).
On a quick side note, it is worth mentioning that the Aussie girls are very ‘friendly’ and know what they want. Which my cousin can more than corroborate, often jesting how the Aussie girls often “rape” guys if they are not careful. Suffice to say, while I was waiting in the queue to enter the cinema, I managed to strike up several ‘enlightening’ conversations with the girls around me. Five minutes more and I am pretty sure that we would have both been ravaged by the Vampire hungry Bella’s! Ha ha! Seriously though, Melbournians are very welcoming and open people. You could talk to anyone and feel as if you have known them for years. A great quality!
The movie is actually quite good. It is not a perfect rendition of the story, but book to movie translations seldom are. With that said, despite a few ‘what the heck’ moments, the movie is reasonably close to the original story outlined in the novel. Thus fans of the books will know what to expect from the film. Ultimately though, if you enjoyed the first movie, you will undoubtedly enjoy the second. However, it is worth noting, for those not familiar with the story, that the second film is more of a dramatic love story than the first. With more of an emphasis on the main characters and the love triangle which begins to emerge between them. Contrary to what the trailer would have you believe.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon receives a fanglorious 8/10.
I think that around 80 percent of the audience were female. How do I know? Easy. Courtesy of the deafening screams and ooh’s and ah’s which prevailed the first time Edward and Jacob made their on screen appearances *rolls eyes*. Not to mention the scenes in which they each take off their shirts for the first time (thought I was going to go deaf from the screaming). I have got to give it to Taylor Lautner though, that kid has an amazing body for someone so young *self-consciously sucks in boep a little more*. Usually I find audience participation within a cinema to be off putting. However, this time around it merely contributed to the overall experience and ‘buzz’ of the event. All in all a fantastic time was had.
*Spoiler: Do not continue reading if you have not read or watched past New Moon*
Before I end this post, I just want to share something that I finally realised after watching New Moon for the second time. I finally ‘clicked’, that Bella wanting to become a Vampire is essentially a metaphor for losing her virginity. However, the metaphor does not end there. It is extended through to when Edward insists that he will only ‘turn’ Bella once they are married. Thus enforcing the notion of ‘no sex before/until marriage’. An arguably good, yet partially unrealistic, message to be sending out to the youth of today:
“Save yourself, for everlasting love”!
Until the next time “Milieunairs”!