As a follow-up to my previous article comparing Kristen Stewart to Victoria Beckham, I decided to focus on one of my favorite films, Twilight. This time I compared Robert Pattinson’s character Bella to myself, as he is perhaps the most recognizable face from the film.

What is the Twilight saga?

To put it simply, Twilight is the quintessential modern fair isle romance, one that is fronted by the beautiful and talented Kristen Stewart. In the film, she plays Bella, a London-based 20-something struggling to fulfill her potential while dealing with the mundane responsibilities of daily living. She is a strong, independent woman who sees no problem in accepting a wealthy, famous man’s proposal. In reality, the situation is more complicated.

The story begins with a mysterious woman named Victoria (played by Kate Winslet) appearing at Bella’s bedside. She is accompanied by Edward Cullen (Pattinson), a charismatic yet distant relative who has been living in exile in Brazil for the past few years. With Victoria’s help, Edward returns to London to win Bella’s heart and to fulfill his true destiny: to protect her and their unborn child from the evil clutches of the Volturi.

The events that unfold are essentially a Shakespearean tragedy as Edward is forced to choose between his love for Bella and his loyalty to his family and friends, which leads to a terrible outcome for everyone involved.

The central love story of Twilight is incredibly moving and, quite frankly, quite beautiful to behold. The performances are top-notch throughout and, although the subject matter is undoubtedly dark, the film itself is quite the opposite: a stunning romance.

Why did Robert Pattinson choose this role?

I think it’s safe to assume that Rob had seen the positive response that Twilight was receiving and decided to ride the wave of popularity as far as he could. Even prior to the film’s premiere, he was bombarded with interview requests from the British press, and he even appeared on a talk show to promote it. He may have also taken the role to try something new, as he is always looking to advance his acting career.

While many may consider Rob’s performance to be flawless, I believe he could have done more to explore the more complex facets of Edward’s character. There are many interesting layers to peel back, and I feel that as an actor, Rob has a great deal to offer in this regard.

Is Bella the Total Package?

To answer this question, let’s examine the film from a purely physical standpoint, starting with its leading lady. First of all, let’s not forget that she plays a vampire in the film (a role that is physically demanding), so it would be unrealistic to expect that she would fulfill the image of an innocent 20-something. Still, aside from the blood, the outfit selection of Bella is quite stunning, and the way she carries herself is very feminine and appealing. Add to this a lovely smile and a captivating pair of eyes, and you have yourself a woman to envy.

On the other hand, Edward is rather plain-looking and not exactly the most physically attractive of the Cullen family. He also appears to lack confidence, as he constantly appears nervous of making a mistake. In short, the physicality of the two characters is quite different, and it’s clear that this was a conscious decision on the filmmakers’ part to make the character more realistic. It’s unlikely that anyone would describe Edward as the total package. Still, while he may not be the most physically appealing man, he is the quintessential “gentleman,” polite and kind, the epitome of a romantic lead.

So, does this mean that we should discredit Bella as the total package? Of course not. We should simply see these elements as a part of her character arc, for she is a wonderfully complex individual, with many sides. This is most aptly demonstrated in New Moon, where we learn more about her past and see a more developed facet of her character, as she struggles to come to terms with her new-found powers and responsibilities.

Is Edward The Alpha Male?

Yes, Edward is the quintessential romantic lead, the perfect complement to Bella. This is perhaps most evident from the start of the film, when he confronts Bella’s friends and co-workers, demanding to know who she is seeing and whether or not they are compatible. In short, he wants to do everything for her: take care of her, feed her, protect her, and provide for her well-being. While this may seem like an obvious extension of a romantic protagonist’s behavior, it is quite the opposite: this is a man who has had to grow up fast and become independent, and he craves security and predictability.

As the narrative progresses, we learn more about his upbringing. Before the age of 18, Edward was already a father figure to his younger brother, Charlie. It is also clear that he has led a sheltered life, and he is not entirely comfortable with the modern world and its ways. After all, he has been living in exile for several years and never fully adjusted to his new surroundings.

In Twilight, he is also presented with the choice of either accepting Bella’s proposal or remaining apart from her, the implication being that he is the only candidate for her affections. Still, it is not entirely clear whether or not he is head over heels in love with Bella, or whether he is doing this as a part of his plan to protect her and their unborn child from the Volturi. In the final analysis, it is safe to say that while he may not be the most affectionate of men, he certainly possesses a remarkable, almost possessive, love for Bella.

So, in short, the central protagonists of Twilight are extremely appealing. On one hand, we have Bella, a beautiful, if not entirely innocent, woman who sees no problem in falling in love with a wealthy, famous man, despite his aloof exterior. On the other, we have Edward, a strong, silent type who sees himself as the responsible, mature adult and protector of a waifish young wife. These two characters embody the quintessential Romeo and Juliet story, and they are a beautiful example of Shakespeare’s timeless dialogue.

Of course, the tragedy that befalls them is all the more devastating for its inevitability. While the pair struggled to see themselves as part of a team, their true destinies were in fact set long ago, and there is no question as to which one they will end up with, given that they are both committed to protecting the other. In the final analysis, Rob and Kate’s timeless masterpiece is both romantic and tragic, and it is impossible to watch it and not feel an overwhelming sense of love and admiration for these two luminous stars.