Twilight: Eclipsed by bad acting

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I have a confession to make. I have read all the Twilight books. I think vampires are hot, and Stephanie Meyers does know how to pull a story together. But why did she sell herself short and opt for a substandard release via Summit and a completely random B-list director?

Fact: Meyers sold herself short in order to get a quick deal.

It was the early days for Twilight, and assuming she was a one-hit wonder, Meyers went for the first movie deal which chanced by her. And once it was a major hit with sequels aplenty, there was little she could do to change that. So now the Twilight films are an appalling mix of miscasts, cheap effects (Edward ‘sparkles’ alright – sorta like toothpaste ads of yore) and really bad direction.

The Twilight Saga could have been a lot better. Here’s how:

Director: Michael Haneke

Reasoning: Haneke has an uncanny knack for making even the mundane seem full of horror (ala The White Ribbon), he works well with kids, and he is probably the only man alive who may have found a new level of depth to what really is a fantasy for 13-year-old girls.

Writer: Tim Burton with Stephanie Meyers

Reasoning: Burton has an inimitable flair for combining ‘pop’ sensibilities with horror, drama and love. With Meyers by his side, they could have had a screenplay chock full of suspense, dark moodiness and most importantly, some quirky humour.

Bella Swan: played by Christina Ricci

Reasoning: She is a little old for the role but its surprising what the right make-up and lighting can do. Ricci is sublimely talented. Her left pinky could have pulled this role off better than Kristen Stewart. From her experience in productions like The Addams Family to Sleepy Hollow, she is a shoo-in for naive, sweet yet instinctually sexy Bella.

Edward Cullen: played by Orlando Bloom

Reasoning: Most importantly, he can act, unlike whats-his-face-with-the-bad-hairdo-and-stone-face. Bloom is just the kind of actor who has the depth (and professionalism) to bring to life the serious passion Edward holds for Bella, while at the same time is not yet in the cadre of actors one would consider too old to ‘sparkle’.

Original Music: Korn, Aphex Twin and Massive Attack in collaboration.

With the Twilight film series the mess it is, all hope for the future now lies in “True Blood”,Season three.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2010.

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