Twilight is the kind of film that over-analysis would kill. It's not as bubble-gummy as Hannah Montana, or as intriguing as Harry Potter, and is definitely not a potent cross-breed of the two styles, but certainly worthy of a fun time with a tub of popcorn. After which it doesn't even lend itself to much dissection.
The plot draws its novelty from the fact that it's about a vampire-human love story. The movie actually takes a little long to build the concept, setting up the romance in the interim. Isabella "Bella" Swan (Kristen Stewart) is an introverted 17-year-old who moves to Forks from Arizona, to live with her father Charlie. She instantly becomes popular at her new school, even given her reticence.
However, there's this local dreamboat, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who puts her off, mostly because he's visibly repulsed at the sight of her. We learn later that his reaction is because of his conflicting feelings for her, owing to his breed - he loves her, but can't help the fact that he thirsts for her blood. Love develops meanwhile, even though Bella knows something's not quite normal about Cullen's behaviour. A tribal legend prompts her to do some research, after which she concludes he's a vampire.
Ironically, all Bella is scared of is whether Cullen's folks will like her, but as she discovers, there's more to deal with. The Cullens are "vegetarians" (they choose not to think of humans as food, and feast only on animals), but there are evil vampires (the normal, human-sucking ones) who Edward has to end up saving Bella from.
Twilight is a movie driven purely by a concept and the concept alone, without the mandatory truckload of embellishments that usually go with a fantasy flick - complex graphics, abstractly designed costumes, enigmatic landscapes and the healthy smattering of insightful philosophy in the dialogues.
And you can't really say if that's a good thing or not. On one hand, it helps retain the spotlight on the sugary high school romance that the film really is. On the other, it doesn't distract you from the sheer grotesqueness of the theme - the hero is a vampire, someone who's in love with his girl but "looks at her like she's something to eat". There's also the issue of the complete lack of intrigue in the plot - evil vampires seem like such a fundamental device for a theme like this, and yet, there's no depth in any of the conflicts.
But then, the courtship is engaging, and though not racy or inventive, it's still pretty to look at. Bella has a semi-elaborate background worked into her characterization - including her eccentric mother who's just gotten herself a new husband, and a protective father - that Cullen unfortunately doesn't. He has a huge family, including a 300-year-old father (Peter Facinelli), but the depth of Edward's role is limited to the special effects that the vampire character requires, like the deathly pale make-up, the glistening skin when exposed to the sun, and the dated language.
Stewart, as Bella, looks perfect for her role, a very girl-next-door kind of portrayal, and Pattinson is good, too. Only, Edward Cullen's beauty (apparently described as Adonis-like) might just be a little unconventional for local tastes - his paleness is unnatural, almost macabre, and he also has cherry-red lips. A couple of other teens in the school put in interesting performances, and in general, the performances are good as expected.
Befitting of a Hollywood production, the movie is well-shot. But as mentioned earlier, there's not much in terms of visual frenzy, except for a few bland instances that show Edward Cullen travel at superhuman speed, and his skin shine in the sun. The music serves as an accessory to the pace of the film, and not much more.
You could head to Twilight for fantasy and dark mush (though not much in between). Briefly therapeutic for a starved movie-goer.