film review: eclipse
Review by Kimberley Carey.
The third instalment of the Twilight saga, Eclipse is another bland and drawn out film focusing on the ever-excruciating love triangle between human Bella (Kristen Stewart), vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner).
Pointless montage sequences, histories of secondary characters, badly-shot fight scenes, and a plot which lacks exposition don’t even manage to distract from the incredibly boring main love story, which lacks believability, substance and is just plain offensive.
Edward and Jacob are constantly dominating Bella: Edward fiddles with her car to prevent her from driving to see Jacob, popping up like a creepy possessive maniac in her passenger seat; Jacob forces himself on Bella, kissing her after she has adamantly explained to him that she only considers him a friend. Jacob and Edward spend much of their screen time in deep and meaning-fuls about what is best for Bella, who loves Bella most and who should be with Bella – while Bella sleeps nearby. Not once do they consider waking her up to ask what she thinks of the whole thing. Although, when caught in a fight between them Bella exclaims, “From now on I’m Switzerland!” Yes Bella, you should always be neutral when it comes to making life changing decisions about yourself. Just let the boys decide.
Abstinence is a bigger theme in Eclipse than in the first movies. Now that Bella and Edward are back together, the issue of ‘doing it’ once again arises. In Twilight it was Bella’s sexy-smelling heroin blood and Edward’s lack of control that prevented them from sealing the deal. In Eclipse, however, Bella and Edward find themselves home alone for a night, during which Bella unsuccessfully tries to seduce Edward. Edward is old school and doesn’t want to risk Bella’s soul. Inevitably, the marriage thing comes up again and Bella finally relents – accepting his proposal – for the possibility of some sex with her boyfriend.
Though by far the most patronising scene in the whole movie is Bella’s speech at the end, where the filmmakers try to justify her situation from a feminist viewpoint. Bella tries to convince Edward and the audience that she is not only choosing a man, she is choosing a lifestyle for herself. She doesn’t feel normal or as though she belongs in the real world so wants to be a vampire, showing a complete lack of concern for her parents whom she would never see again and also for the hundreds of potential victims of her future bloodlust, all so that she can be young and beautiful and live with her boyfriend and his rich family forever.
This scene not only lacks believability or any kind of redemption but is also quite troubling as it implies that feeling out of place or isolated is somehow very wrong and not at all common. Clearly, all 17-year-olds should be in a committed relationship and know beyond doubt their place in the world.
One of the most annoying things about Eclipse and the entire Twilight saga is its ridiculous vampire lore. Not only is it completely inconsistent but also pointless. In this movie the vampires are suddenly made out of chalk or ice or something, crumbling away after having their heads ripped off. Most vampire stories have their own spin on the traditions of vampire lore and use it to illustrate a metaphor and say something valuable. The way in which vampire lore is handled in Eclipse, all glittery skin and weird eyes and such, proves that gimmicks are more important than actually having something worthwhile to say.
The soundtrack, pretty locations and Bella’s hot dad (Billy Burke) are about the only worthwhile reasons to see this movie, as well as the hilarious moments in the cinema when in the middle of a vital scene you realise how seriously everyone is taking it and you can’t help but laugh.