Twilight’s Saddest Scene Is Also Its Most Underrated

The most underrated scene in Twilight is also the film's saddest, as it symbolizes the sacrifice Bella must make to be in a relationship with Edward.

The climax of the original Twilight film involves Bella Swan being hunted by an evil vampire named James while her boyfriend Edward Cullen and his family of vegetation vampires help to protect her. James becomes interested in Bella when he realizes capturing and devouring her is a challenge too tempting to resist. Bella’s initial escape from Forks includes the saddest and also the most underrated scene in the entire movie: As Edward drives Bella away from her father and her new home, she witnesses her human high school friends leaving the local café while she essentially has been forced to leave behind any opportunity at a normal life.

Bella has made a few human friends since she moved to Forks during her junior year of high school. Among the group are Jessica Stanley, Angela Weber, Mike Newton and Eric Yorkie. She eats lunch with this crowd, goes shopping with them, visits the beach and she genuinely likes them even though their initial enthusiasm towards her is a little outside of her comfort zone. Bella’s friends throughout the series often serve to demonstrate the contrast between the human life Bella could be living with the life she is actually living, entangled with vampires and the world of the supernatural. This contrast is most effective, and heartbreaking, during Bella’s escape from Forks in Twilight.

While playing baseball with the Cullens, Bella becomes the target of a nomad vampire James and his partner Victoria. Due to the extreme threat they pose to not only Bella but the unprepared humans she cares about, Bella is forced to run away from Charlie and her life in Forks. The ensuing escape signals Bella’s definitive departure from normal life and clearly sets her on a much different, more supernatural path.

During her escape, there is a shot of Bella watching her school friends leaving the local café in a typical evening for a teenager in high school. The shot is brief but incredibly impactful. It demonstrates the life that Bella could have had if she hadn’t fallen in love with a vampire. She’s fleeing for her life at that moment, but in a sense, a part of her has already died: the part that could have been normal and had a safe and simple life. This fact is further explored later in the Twilight series, but it is laid out so simply, so tragically in this brief scene that it is actually heartbreaking to witness.

Both Bella and Edward seem to acknowledge this sad fact as they drive past the café and towards a different path, yet they don’t actually speak to each other about what it really means. It appears that Bella is saying a distant goodbye to her friends before setting out on a journey, but it can also be interpreted as Bella saying goodbye to a certain potential her life could have had. In a sense, Bella is actually saying goodbye to the version of herself who could have been out with her friends that evening instead of running for her life.

Edward breaks up with Bella in New Moon because he wants to grant her the regular life she could never have with him and he wants to keep her safe. Watching his reaction when Bella sees her friends leaving the café, it becomes clear that Edward recognizes this moment as a significant one. It is a moment he attempts to undo by breaking up with her and leaving her to live a life without him. While things don’t work out as he planned and ultimately they do end up married and Bella becomes a vampire herself, this moment is still significant to the course of their relationship.

Bella’s life changed dramatically when she fell in love with a vampire. The saddest, and most underrated scene of Twilight demonstrates the sacrifice she made in order to be with Edward forever. When she watches her human friends on a very normal night out and is unable to be part of that normalcy, she ends up saying goodbye to a version of herself that can never be. The tragedy of that fact is perfectly illustrated in this simple shot during Bella’s escape.

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