Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
Prequel: Twilight (2008)
DEPRESSION—Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer
What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
|Featuring||Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), Dakota Fanning (Jane), Christina Jastrzembska (Gran/Bella), Billy Burke, Anna Kendrick, Michael Welch, Justin Chon, Christian Serratos, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Russell Roberts, Cam Gigandet, Michael Sheen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Christopher Heyerdahl, Peter Facinelli, Curtis Caravaggio, Daniel Cudmore, Charlie Bewley, Rachelle Lefevre, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Chaske Spencer, Gil Birmingham, Graham Greene, Adrien Dorval, Michael Adamthwaite, Alexander Mendeluk, Hunter Jackson, Gavin Bristol, Sean McGrath, Kiowa Gordon, Tyson Houseman, Alex Meraz, Bronson Pelletier, Edi Gathegi, Tinsel Korey, Corinna Russo, Maria Grazia Pompei, Roberto Marchetti, Alessandro Federico, Justine Wachsberger, Cameron Bright, Noot Seear, Tom Townsend, Peter Lambert|
|Producer||Summit Entertainment, Sunswept Entertainment, Temple Hill Entertainment, Bill Bannerman, Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Mark Morgan, David Roker|
“It will be as though I never existed.”
“New Moon” is the highly anticipated sequel within the Twilight Saga. Twilight fans may be more pleased with this film, since it stays more faithful to the second book on which it is based. Better character development and excellent cinematography also compliment the film in creating a more pleasant viewing.
On her 18th birthday, Bella Swann (Kristen Stewart) is troubled when recognizing her brief mortality when she passes Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) immortal age of 17. During a family party, an accidental papercut sends Jasper back to his primitive, bloodthirsty nature, where he tries to attack Bella. Although it only remains a close call, Edward realizes the constant danger Bella is in when in his presence and decides leaving her would be her only chance for a happy, normal life.
His leaving does the exact opposite, causing Bella to fall into a deep, agonizing depression. Withdrawing herself from her friends and family, she has constant nightmares and a permanent sense of hopelessness. After having an adrenaline rush, Bella sees a hallucination of Edward. Feeling this is her only opportunity to see glimpses of him, Bella begins to take different risks in order to have a rush. She, also, finds comfort in the company of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and begins to fall for him.
While there’s much more to the plot, it should be noted that “New Moon” is definitely not a stand-alone film. Running over two hours, not much time is spent on the Cullens, since they were already given time in the first installment. In the forefront, Bella and Jacob’s growing relationship is shown. Taylor Lautner does a phenomenal job as Jacob and gives a convincing performance on why Bella would eventually fall for him.
Those who were unhappy with the liberties taken with the first “Twilight” film should be happy with its sequel, since screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg created the screenplay that remains within the Twilight atmosphere. The book New Moon has often been considered the least favorite of the series, since Bella’s emotional breakdown becomes somewhat overbearingly tedious. Where in the book, this episode drearily lasts for hundreds of pages, the movie’s two-hour run does create a genuine portrayal of Bella’s depression, while at the same time provides a tightly-packed plot with an excellent pacing.
Summit’s rush to launch a sequel caused original director Catherine Hardwicke to be replaced by Chris Weitz (“The Golden Compass”). Both have distinctive styles which are commendable. While the excellent bluish color grading is gone, it is replaced with more visually stunning shots of the Forks forest and ocean, displaying a wet, depressed world which perfectly represents Bella’s inner turmoil.
While I did not hear the Lord’s name profaned, there is more profanity. There are five uses of the word “hell” and at least one use of the word “damn.” The violence has also increased. A vampire who’s sentenced to death is shown to have his head and arms twisted off, and another is torn apart by the werewolves. In addition, there are about three fights. These acts of violence remain bloodless and tame.
What most people would find offensive is the obsession Edward and Bella have for each other. While the first book showed this sensuality, its film downplayed their obsession, but it comes to full light in “New Moon.” Within this film, Bella continuously tells Edward that he can have her soul, and she cannot live without him. In order to see him, she rides on a motorcycle with a complete stranger and jumps off a hundred foot cliff, all for a fake glimmer of Edward. When believing Bella to be dead, Edward planned on breaking a vampire rule, in order to be sentenced to death.
When Hardwicke was replaced by Weitz, there was brief speculation that Taylor Lautner would be replaced in the coveted role of Jacob Black. Luckily, the talented, young actor kept it and exercised intensely to meet physical requirements. He remains shirtless for the majority of the film.
While Bella and Edward’s relationship does remain physically chaste, except for a few kisses, their emotional happiness is heavily dependent on one another. Bella’s whole life revolves around Edward. And once he is gone, she repeatedly says she now has no soul or that there’s now a huge hole in her chest. Even though this is fiction, there is a similarity to many current youth who often become emotionally dependent in their relationships and sometimes subconsciously idolize their fallible relationships. This is why a Christ foundation is essential, and a study of the following verse is necessary for a truly happy life:
“but seek first His kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”
I’m glad the films are less sensual than the books. In deciding whether to view this film, please remember the above reservations, and be sure that you are discerning and not easily tempted from the aforementioned. Since “Twilight” is mainly loved by young people, parents who allow them to watch it use it for beneficial discussions of its content.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.