The Twilight Saga is one of the most influential and popular movie sagas of all time. For those who haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know that it’s been the basis of two very successful films so far, with the first hitting the grand screen just over 15 years ago.
One of the defining aspects of the Twilight Saga is its emphasis on youth. We’re constantly reminded of Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) and Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) immaturity, as well as the contrast between Bella’s “old” generation and the “new” generation of young adults she befriends in high school. The fact that many of the film’s supernatural creatures are also associated with young people makes this theme especially prominent.
The Saga Begins
The Twilight Saga kicks off with an 18-year-old Bella (Kristen Stewart) moving to Forks, Washington to live with her mother and stepfather, Victoria (Kate Winslet) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). A chance encounter with Edward, an aloof, popular and charismatic 28-year-old, leads Bella to believe that he’s been observing and stalking her for some time.
Edward immediately puts this unfounded accusation to rest, but their odd relationship only continues to grow and grow.
An Edward-Bella Love Story
Bella is determined to prove to Edward that she’s not some kind of freak, and the two embark on a love story that is highly unconventional from the get-go. We’re not talking about your typical boy meets girl, romance plot here. According to Edward, relationships between humans and vampires are inherently unstable.
From the very beginning, it’s clear that Bella is searching for stability and love, while Edward seems more concerned with playing his dangerous games with her.
A Classic Romantic Comedy
Initially, The Twilight Saga plays out like a classic romantic comedy. We see Bella and Edward’s immature attempts to woo each other with flowers and witty banter. Edward even proposes to Bella in one of the film’s most romantic scenes. But something is amiss. There’s an undercurrent of menace that permeates every aspect of their relationship.
As the story progresses, we see that even Bella isn’t aware of the full extent of her partner’s evil. While she experiences anxiety around Edward’s overt aggression (he bites her ear in one of the film’s most brutal scenes), she ultimately decides to put her faith in him and their supposed bond as vampires.
The Dark Side Of Edward
It soon becomes apparent that Edward’s overt displays of affection aren’t to be trusted. The more Bella learns about Edward’s secretive nature and his dark side, the more she wants to walk away. But it’s already too late. The fangs have been thrust into her neck, and she belongs to him.
A Love-Hate Relationship
On the surface, Bella and Edward’s relationship seems to follow the classic Romeo and Juliet pattern. But there’s a dark, hidden side to their intimacy. While Bella wants to have faith in their love, their blossoming animosity is foreshadowed in the first scene of the film, when they’re lying in bed and Bella sees an old photo of herself in a wedding dress.
The more Bella learns about Edward’s secret past, the more she wants to destroy the evidence. This drives a wedge between them, and leads to an increasing level of hate and distrust. This is emphasized in the first part of the film, when Edward brutally attacks and injures a stray dog that Bella has taken under her wing. It’s a scene that is both funny and horrifying at the same time.
More Than Meets The Eye
There are numerous instances when Bella questions the true nature of their relationship. In one of the film’s most chilling scenes, she asks Edward if she truly is his “soul mate,” and he replies, “No Ma’am. You’re more than that.”
It goes without saying that The Twilight Saga is a tragic love story. Edward and Bella’s tumultuous union is filled with heartache and betrayal. Theirs is a love-hate relationship that sees them pull away from each other with a sharp tug of disaffection. It’s a grim picture of a passionate romance, fraught with pain and heartache.
This is a relationship that is at once beautiful and flawed. It’s a love story worth watching, if only to see how far humanity will go in search of love and companionship.