Twilight: Being

Click to enlarge.

COMPLAINT: At the end, why does Bella say it's not about Edward, it's about who she wants to "be"?

RESPONSE: Bella will inherit lightning-fast relfexes, sparkly skin, awesome taste in interior decor... and immortality. I figured there's no way a girl that smart and complex hasn't thought about what eternity means. I mean, think of all the Ph.D.'s she could collect!

Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, demonstrating how a small change can make Twilight a much more palatable (to me) story. 


Silver Adept said...

@GeniusLemur -

Not necessarily. We could posit Bella is actually very complex and scheming, and once she realized what vampirism could offer, and that Edward could not determine her true motives, she spun a manipulation to get Edward to love her, and things got progressively more intense as her schemes kept failing. Since Bella is our narrator, though, she controls what we hear - she could be telling us a story of romance...but lying through her teeth and trying to justify it all after the fact. Which generates the inconsistencies and problematic aspects of the story.

Perhaps what we're seeing is the "official" version, scrubbed, [REDACTED], and sanitized...but not well, or the first telling, or some other reason why it didn't mesh yet.

Mind you, that's wild, wild speculation, but it does explain the plot and Bella wanting to be a vampire.

Ana Mardoll said...

I feel that we can also posit a LITTLE MERMAID scenario. Which does Ariel love more, Eric or being human? It's kind of the wrong question for the story, imho.

GeniusLemur said...

If Bella really just wants to be a vampire, doesn't that invalidate large swaths of the plot?

chris the cynic said...

Crossposting from other Twilight thread, nothing new to see here if you read all that is there, but in case you haven't:

Before this thread:That said, her, "I was born to be a vampire," line in the trailer does make it seem like she's seeing the story not as "How I met my twue luve," but rather, "I put up with a lot of shit to get here, but I finally have the body I was meant for," which casts the whole story as trans* individual transitioning and takes the focus off violent abusive stalker boyfriend as the perfect end all and be all of everything.

Besides, given that the teen wedding thing is her following in her mother's footsteps*, she's due to leave Edward taking hybrid daughter with her less than two years after the movie ends anyways, so if they don't play up the, "Yay, I'm a vampire now," angle then there's nothing left.

I don't expect the movie to live up to the positive implications from the word choice in the trailer, but I give the trailer makers credit for the word choice.


* What the hell is with the whole ancestry is destiny thing anyway?

And for the bigger question, from a Doyalist perspective, is Bella mirroring Rene Ancestry is Destiny or Descendants are Destiny? It makes more sense for me to see it as the second. Rather than give Rene a story (or even a face) of her own, it's easier to just say, "Well, she was/is just like Bella." Thus, in the example used above, Rene was a teenage bride because she takes after Bella, not Bella being a teenage bride because she takes after Rene. In story it's chronologically impossible, but in writing I'm betting Bella came first and Rene was penciled in as being just like Bella (but of the previous generation and marrying a human) after.After this thread:I have [seen this thread].

Bella as someone who has thought out the consequences of her actions and come to a rational conclusion that places her own desires ans aspirations not as something to be tossed aside but as something to be strived for? I like. I like Bella the, "Think of how many Doctorates I could get," more than Bella the, "Edward sparkles," dreamy eyes.

After all, with immortality on her side, why shouldn't she finally achieve her girlhood ambition of being a doctor of everything?


Still going to avoid the movies like the plague though.

JVB said...

I just find it sort of sad that number three is listed as a complaint. As in, fans are angry that Bella has more interests, hopes, and dreams than the ever perfect Edward.

And I think number two is a bit of a disingenuous complaint based on the text, where Bella npgviryl pnzcnvtaf ntnvafg Rqjneq gb tb frr Wnpbo, naq vf bayl ceriragrq sebz qbvat fb ol univat ure gehpx qvfnoyrq naq gura ol orvat xvqanccrq ol Nyvpr. So I think hopping on the motorbike away from Edward is a fair screen adaptation of this.

Silver Adept said...

The third response also reminds us that, for as little as we remember about it, Bella does weigh complex decisions and make big calculations. It's lost in the purple prose and how single-minded she appears to be about Edward, but Bella does demonstrate that she's not stupid in better ways than trite talk about telophase.

Patrick said...

I also like the second complaint, implying as it does that Bella is not a proactive character. Something I chafed at when I read the series.

sabotabby said...

I am actually kind of impressed at what the screenwriter managed to do with the movies. I mean, they're not good movies by any stretch of the imagination, but they're much more watchable than the books are readable. When I teach filmmaking, one of the examples I use is in New Moon and how they translate the blank pages into something that doesn't look completely awful on screen.

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