Last year’s sleeper hit, Twilight, is here. And its global popularity appears to be justified, thanks largely to Robert Pattinson, the young actor with tousled hair and a pale, kabuki mask-like face, who has been spoken about as the next best thing after Leonardo DiCaprio.
Speaking scarcely, but darting melting looks at the teenage girl of his desire, he draws sighs from every girl on the campus in a snow-covered town, so what if he’s in fact a vampire, a kind of prettier avatar of Count Dracula. Of course no one is aware of his antecedents, least of all the new student (Stewart). She has quit her mother and stepfather in a blazing hot Arizona town to be with her father, a police officer, a goodfella.
A rival gang of vampires attempts to kill Bella, as she is called, needless to say in vain. The mystery boy protects her and she is so hopelessly attracted to him that she’s willing to accept his kiss of blood. Incredibly gallant, he wants her to remain alive instead of entering a zone that he’s been condemned to — because of indecipherable circumstances.
Gratifyingly, director Hardwicke (thirteen) succeeds in giving the familiar story a fresh twist. Kristen Stewart is passable. At the outset she’s much too whinnying and irritating, growing on you as the screenplay demands a degree of maturity from her. Pattinson has the kind of uber-cool screen presence that is favoured by the tweens. Indeed, the sequel shows up within a fortnight. And for once you don’t mind if they do it — again.