THE TWILIGHT EXPERIMENT

A bevy of girls screaming endlessly in the cinema is something I’d never forget. The screams were meant for Robert Pattinson, which permeated the dark cool air of the cinema every time his face would fill the screen. My ears were ringing when I got out of the cinema, as I berated myself for watching that day. I should have let a few days past before I set foot in the cinema, but I was obstinate. I never really knew how guys felt about Twilight except for a quondam friend who raised his eyebrow when I uttered Twilight and us watching it together. He wasn’t keen on seeing the wan face of Edward Cullen or the pouts of Kristen Stewart. And he still wasn’t over the fact that I dragged him to watch Scooby-Doo eons ago.

Curiosity was gnawing at me. It’s so obvious what the girls would say about Twilight but what I wanted to know was the boys’ reaction and so I decided to do a little Twilight experiment with my students. Most of them – the boys – hadn’t seen but they’ve heard of the movie and the actor Robert Pattinson.  And so the experiment began last week with everyone sitting at the viewing room. The ambience was punctuated by a mixture of muffled squeals and giggles (from the girls), and boisterous laughter (from the boys). I pushed it a little further and asked them to review the film.

It was a revelation reading the boys’ comments about Twilight. Pattinson got the thumbs up for acting from R who found him a credible actor who made “Cullen likeable, trustworthy and a good hero at the end of the story.” As for Kristen Stewart, continued R, she made “Bella awkward and lacking in emotion.”

G thought the acting was good too as well as the make-up although he was slightly put-off with the special effects especially when Edward was racing up the mountain. He looked like he was floating, wrote G. Sharing view of the special effects was his other classmate K who scoffed at the amateurish special effects particularly when Edward, with Bella on his back, jumped from one tree to another in his backyard. G’s classmate, F, on the other hand, was ecstatic with the soundtrack. In his words, the songs were “in sync with the scenes” making him able to relate wholeheartedly to the characters and their dilemmas.

Interesting to note was that most of the boys found the location good. The scenery was breath-taking and the “forest of Forks beautiful”. G, in fact, was rapturous about Edward’s house: “It’s cool. I want to have a house like that.”

Generally, the boys had a good time watching the movie, which they found a romantic one and, in effect, would recommend it to their friends except for one who didn’t lack any love for the film which, he wrote, was “made for the girls”. But that’s not the case with G who found Twilight romantic and is looking forward to watching the rest of the instalments. Similarly, F was positive about the whole film but would like to see more “romantic moments included”. He’s getting his wish if he gets his hands on part 1 of Breaking Dawn. Would his parents approve of him watching it? That’s another story.

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