Twilight: Book Versus Movie
The source of ideas for story of films are achieved through many sources. Many take months to write the story and screenplay and some adapt a whole movie based on a novel or book. Scriptwriter adapts a script from a book, though they are differences that can be noticed in movies. Differences of certain scenes or story modifications are done so they can be adapted with the runtime limit of a film. The movie I selected for this essay is “Twilight”. The motive of the essay is to investigate the differences between the Twilight movie and the book and the reasons for changes.
The twilight movie was considered one of the worst movies for its story and screenplay, yet the book has been appreciated well enough by the readers. Most of the people, who both watched the movie and read the book, mostly complained were about alteration of some scenes and story. I, myself have watched and read the Twilight and noticed the differences. The first difference that was noticed is the opening scene. The movie starts with Bella in Phoenix taking out her cactus, which she brought from Forks to remind her where she came from. And the next scene is followed by Bella meeting Jacob and Billy Black, who came to drop off her new truck, but according to the book Bella meets Jacob at La Push Beach for the first time. Both scenes are not present in the book. The first one is added while the other is a change. These two scenes were placed at beginning of the movie to give background on Bella’s life to get rid of elaborate narration.
This next change is considered very important difference between book and the movie. According to the book, Edward is standing apart from Bella around 4 cars away when Tyler loses control of his van. When the van is spinning out of control, while it approaches towards Bella at the same time, Edward tries to deflect the van, but it spins further and rotates toward Bella. The van slides towards Bella which causes Edward to further expose himself of catching the van in front of Bella, while pushing her away before it could crush Bella’s legs. The incident cause Edward to brace himself with the support of Bella’s parked car in order to stop the van. This incident leaves a huge dent on the van caused by Edward’s shoulder, which Bella notices it. Also, the incident causes a minimal head injury to Bella by hitting the ground as Edward had no time to think and be gentle of moving her out the way and escalation of the dire situation. Charlie rushes to speak with her, the moment before she is escorted to the hospital. Bella notices that it takes about eight people to move the van out of the way, which causes her to think of Edward’s shocking strength of stopping the van. During that time, she is put on a stretcher and a neck brace is placed on her. Edward decides to stay with her whole time after preventing her being hit by Tyler’s van. Edwards also goes with Bella in the ambulance to conceal the truth by telling a false version of the story to tell other people, where he was standing near her the whole time before the incident. And he also gives her assurance to tell her truth later in exchange of agreeing his deal and for not opening her mouth. Later, Bella tells the false story to the people of how she got away from dire situation. And because she did as he told her to do, which causes her to earn his trust. (Meyers 56-67)
And now this same scene is completely different and simplified than from the given text. Edward’s extraordinary speed and strength are still shown to Bella but without much of proof to shown to viewers. In the movie, Edward is seen standing on opposite side of the parking lot to Bella when Tyler loses control of the van. Moreover, the van does not spin uncontrollably towards Bella, but it slides sideways towards her. Edward comes in to save Bella in time and gently holds her with one arm and stops the van with no sweat, with his other arm. In the movie version of the incident, Bella does not suffer any injury from the van or by Edward’s sudden involvement. But she is shocked to witnessing his extraordinary and unnatural abilities. Edward, he is shown as an unbudgingly force and he is hardly affected by the momentum of van. He is barely shown moving towards the truck, whereas in the book, he puts a huge dent on the van. And he walks away after saving her from the incident. Also, she realizes that he is hiding something from everyone. Cops are called, the scene transitions instantly to the hospital before the ambulance is called. This omits the scene from the book, where she is kept on stretcher and placing of neck brace on her. The scene also omits of Charlie seeing Bella instant after incident in school but changes the scene to meeting her in the hospital. In the hospital she mentions of Edward’s role but decides not to shed light about his extraordinary strength of stopping the van, with his bare hand. Bella keeps Edward’s secret with herself, which also causes her to earn Edward’s trust.
Another crucial scene from book is of Bella going to Port Angeles with her friends, Jessica and Angela to pick out dresses and get a new book. On the way back to meet her friends for dinner, she gets confused and loses her way to friends. After losing her way, she is followed by four guys, Edwards suddenly appears from nowhere to rescue her from the guys. He appears in a car and stops them with open passenger door next to her. While driving, he tells her to speak with him randomly on anything to prevent him from going back and killing the stalkers. After the rescue, he takes her to restaurant for dinner and in the meantime, Bella questions Edward on how he found out where she was. But the car ride from Port Angeles is different scene where the timeline of the movie differs from the book. In the car ride, Bella tells her theories to Edward of him (Meyers 161). She tells her theories based on the story of an old tribe legend, which was told to her by Jacob the day they met on the beach. Due to the theories, she began to believe that Edward is indeed a vampire(183). This incident begins a new phase of their relationship, in which they began to ask each other questions on everything they wanted to know. Following next day, they meet again and go for a hike on a mountain, which is Edward’s favorite spot on the mountain called the meadow. Then Edward shows Bella why he and his family cannot go into sunlight as their skin sparkles up due to the sunlight. Also, he shows his superpowers of speed and strength and exclaims that he is the best predator in the world. (263)
The same scene is quite like of Bella going to Port Angeles with her friends, Jessica and Angela with picking out their dresses, but she wants to buy a book based on Quileute legends. And, she lost her way to restaurant, where she is supposed to meet her friends at. Edward rescues Bella from the stalkers but in different way. Instead of fishtailing them and opening the door for her, he gets of his car and growls at the stalkers before taking off. The request of distracting him while driving does take place. Instead of her talking about Tyler, who told everyone that he is taking Bella to prom, she just tells him to put on his seatbelt. After rescuing her, he takes her for dinner, where she questions him about the how he knew where she was. The car ride to home and Edward being a vampire, nothing is mentioned on the movie. Instead the book she got in Port Angeles, she reads it and reads about the vampire legends instead of hearing about the legends from Jacob. Bella reads the books and connects her pieces and goes to school next day. After school, she walks into the woods, alone, by herself and Edward follows her into the woods. Bella tells Edward that she figured about him and knows what he is, to which he makes her to say the word “vampire.” Then the movie omits the questioning scene and the scene transitions to the meadow. Also, he reveals why his family cannot be seen on sunny days because of their skin sparkling like diamonds in the light. He carries her and runs up the mountain to show off his super speed. They are about to kiss, where Edward interrupts by telling Bella that he is dangerous for her and he might put her in danger any day. The movie tries to show their viewers that two scenes is not crucial as printed in the book. That scene in the movies makes the situation more serious as to show that he is trying to scare Bella away. The scene where their relationship begins to strengthen is changes and is combined with another scene of Bella revealing Edward’s secret. Instead of showing Edward’s romantical trust act, during taking Bella on a hike to his favorite spot, Bella walks randomly into the woods from the school, while Edward follows her. The act in the movie is shown random and the romantic aspect of the scene is ruined. The scene of Edward ripping trees off the ground shows him in a crazy aspect for the viewers. The movie even took very long to develop Bella’s character. Edward loud nature escalates the situation in the meadow and confuses the viewers of their relationship and it seems to be very fast. Edward is also portrayed creepy during this scene because with no narration and audience trying to figure out Bella’s expression and going along with bumpy storyline.
In the book, it is Bella who narrates the story in her perspective which shows her personality as a strong and stubborn person. But in the movie, none of her attitudes are present, which makes the story dull and her character as a week and moody person. Also, the movie fails to show Bella and Edward strong building relationship. In the book, it is their small meetings and conversations which build their relation in the long span of time but whereas in the movie their growth of relationship is very fast paced, like instant from being unknown strangers to made for each other mates.
The movie fails to show the viewers how their bonds becomes stronger over the longer period. The book is clearly descriptive about every situation and explains every motive of every characters, which makes the readers to get know everyone in the book. But in the movie nothing is done well, except for few scenes but over last it makes all the viewers confused over the decisions made by Bella. These mistakes and fast paced story made the movie worthless and waste of time for those who read the book. Also it shows why the book is way superior than movie adaptation.
- “Twilight.” IMDb, IMDb.com, 24 Nov. 2008, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1099212/
- Twilight. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Performances by Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke. Summit Entertainment, Temple Hill Entertainment, Maverick Films, Imprint Entertainment, Goldcrest Pictures, Twilight Productions, 2008.
- Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. Little, Brown and Co., 2005.