New Moon and The First Commandment…No Other Gods (Movie Review)
New Moon and The First Commandment…No Other Gods
Review By Stacey Tuttle
I was there, at midnight, with a thousand other females to watch the midnight showing of New Moon, the second installment in the Twilight series. Not because I’m such a die-hard fan, but because it was a fun thing to do with my friend and I had to see it pronto if I was going to make this edition of the Deep and Wide (which I only tell you because I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I was of the first in line to see New Moon.) Among the throngs of Team Jacob and Team Edward T-shirts (I didn’t have one – let me clarify!), I was struck by the fact that the fan base sporting those shirts spanned the gamut of ages. I expected teens to be there, but there was an equal presence of women older than me, married with children – just as eager, if not more so, than the teens. I was frankly a bit mortified by the responses of the women throughout the movie – openly lusting over the male actors in the movie. I guess I would expect that from the young girls, but not from the women who have hopefully matured past looking only at the outside—especially when it’s a teenage boy who could be their son! I felt like I was surrounded by cougars and cougars in training. What kind of an example is being set for the teens if they see their moms drooling and screaming over the shirtless boys on the screen? I felt like I was in the women’s version of a porno – not so much because of the movie itself, but because of the responses of the crowd. However, something else strikes me deeper as I ponder over the quotes and notes I took— the utter idolatry throughout the movie.
Let me list for you some of the things I noted throughout the movie so that you might see what I did:
- Edward envied Romeo being able to commit suicide—he cannot easily commit suicide, but wants to every time he thinks Bella might die or already be dead.
- Bella says that if Edward’s reluctance to make her a vampire is about her soul, (he believes he is damned to Hell as a vampire), then, “take it, I don’t want it without you.”
- Edward says he “couldn’t live in a world where [Bella] didn’t exist”.
- Edward tries to commit suicide when he thinks Bella is dead.
- Bella is willing to risk anything, even death itself, just to simulate Edward’s presence—feeling near him supersedes all else.
I could go on, but I think this is clear enough. From the start to the end, this installment is pretty thoroughly centered around Bella and Edward making gods of each other. Bella is willing to give up her very soul to be with him. He sees no reason to live without her. Because they have made such gods of each other, the pain of separation is excruciating. And this seems like “true love” – isn’t this the love everyone dreams of? The kind of love that makes the world right when you are together, and that when you are apart everything is wrong? Actually, I think it is. I think this is why women of all ages are flocking to this movie and are so enamored with the series. However, while it taps into our desire for true love, the object of that true love is misplaced. That true love is not found in romantic relationships here on earth. It is to be found in one place only, in our love with Jesus. The only thing that we should not be able to live without is Jesus, else we break the first commandment and have another god before Him (Exodus 20:3, “Do not have any other gods before me”).
Contrast Edward’s sentiments with those of Paul. Philippians 1:21-27, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.” Though his love for Christ was so great he longed to die and be with Him face to face, he was willing to live for the higher purpose of serving Christ and bringing others to the knowledge of Him.
Finally, there is the issue of Bella’s willingness to give up her soul and face eternal damnation for her desire to be with Edward and be like him. She was able to be with him as she was, but it wasn’t enough for her. She wanted to be like Edward, which is kind of interesting given the god-like status she gave him. She wasn’t content until she was like him. (This kind of echoes Lucifer’s actions – he too was willing to give up his elevated status as leader of the angels and face eternal damnation for the desire to be like God himself.) The truth is, if she really loved Edward and respected him, she would be more willing to consider sacrificing her desires for his sake. He was desperately concerned for her soul. She was only concerned for what she wanted. It seems like love, but really it is selfishness behind her actions. Not only did she idolize Edward, but she wanted that same godlike status for herself.
Questions for Discussion:
- What are things you place before God in your own life?
- Why do you think these movies appeal so broadly to women of all ages? What is the core part of our natures that this appeals to?
- What dangers do you see in this movie? What things does it take too far? What bad things are made to look good?
- Do you think it is possible to feel about Christ the way Bella and Edward felt about each other –that without a relationship with Him life wouldn’t be worth living?
- What do you think about Bella’s disregard for her soul? What do you think about Edward’s conviction that there is no hope for his soul?