Featuring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
“When you can live forever, what do you live for”
How about the opposite? When you know your life is finite, is anything worth living for?
The movie Twilight is another film aimed at a young audience. In it’s opening weekend it made $70.6 million making it the fourth highest opening film this year. According to exit polls, 55% of the audience were under 25 years old and 75% of the audience was female.
Twilight is a movie adaptation of a very popular book series mostly read by young female teenagers. It is a love story about a male vampire and a normal girl.
On the surface this is a love story between a vampire and a high school girl that seems to carry a pro-abstinence message and so many parents are focusing on this portion claiming that it’s a great story with a good message. However there are many other themes that are often going unnoticed.
“Chief among these is that old, dangerous idea that a “bad boy” can easily be won and tamed by a “good girl”—an idea that has brought heartache to untold millions of good girls. As a Christian, I obviously believe that redemption and change is possible for sinners. But I also know that human beings alone cannot change each other.
So when you’re talking to your daughter about Twilight, here are a few points you might touch on.
It is not romantic, or safe, when a boy spies on you, follows you, and sneaks into your room without your knowledge (and especially without your parents’ knowledge).
It is not romantic, or safe, when someone tells you he’s dangerous and he’s killed people, to give answers like, “It doesn’t matter,” and, “I’m not afraid.” Again, I’ve worked with repentant murderers in prison. I know firsthand that redemption is possible for them. But that doesn’t mean that what they’ve done doesn’t matter.
It is not romantic, or safe, to try to see how close you and your boyfriend can get to the edge of danger without going over.
And it is not romantic, or safe, to offer yourself up for a boy to do whatever he wants to you—symbolized in the movie by the young heroine asking the vampire to bite her so she can become like him.” – Breakpoint
It really does say a lot about our culture when parents have to argue with their young daughters that dating a dangerous killer is not a good role model to follow, even if they are being careful and even abstinent.
As mentioned above, the vampire Edward has really disturbing habits like sneaking into Bella’s room, watching her sleep, spying on her conversations, telling her to lie to her father and even kidnapping her! Is this really something romantic or would the guy be arrested for stalking and kidnapping in real life? The fact that all of it is painted in the romantic angle could really instill the wrong type of notions of what love should look like.
Also the girl, Bella, is very low in self-confidence putting herself down throughout the movie while lifting her boyfriend as someone higher often mentioning him as like a “god” or “angel”. She sees her humanness to be a weakness and wishes to just be a vampire.
This is clearly a very unhealthy relationship in all counts, yet it’s been lifted as an example of a great modern day love story. A girl willing to throw away family, friends, identity for a guy who stalks her, even abuses her. Anything for love? Love conquers all? Love is worth it? Sound familiar?
The sexual content is minimal, with only two kissing scenes and even a scene when it starts to get more serious, the main protagonist backs off. That is great, but what goes unnoticed is the fact that in such scenes and many other scenes, the young couple are always alone in a room. Watching such scenes constantly makes a young couple being in a bedroom together seem “not too bad” as long as nothing happens, but it is precisely that situation that brings the temptation to begin with.
Just to be clear, many have said this is a very clean movie especially considering that the movie could have been made a lot more violent and explicit. The movie itself has been praised by many for being very clean without cursing, without sex scenes, and with mild violences. However I still believe it is the underlying picture that a film paints and the subtle emotions that is brought by the words and actions of the characters that has the most impact on it’s viewers especially when the film is targeting a very young impressionable demographic. And so what you have read is a small compilation from the message angle. Hope it helped!
and the media bus continues…
Saw Twilight? Know something about Twilight? Comment below.
Movie Review: High School Musical 3 – The Message
Powerful Impact of Media on Children
Reacting to Religion Based Movies
Media’s Impact on Sexual Freedom
Themes of Wall-E
Ironman and Prince Caspian – Clean Cut or Not?