Breaking Dawn part 1

Bella and Edward are finally together, Victoria’s dead and Edward’s agreed to change his blushing bride after their honeymoon.  What could go wrong?

Oh wait.

The short version:

Those saying that “all” that happened was the wedding, the honeymoon and the baby aren’t wrong; if you wanted to break it down into two plot points, it’d be the wedding and the baby. But I wonder if these are people that prefer action films.

The wedding probably was longer than necessary, but don’t forget that people who have loved these books since they started probably loved all the detail, and especially the extra bits.  What if Harry Potter (hey, if everyone else is going to compare…) had left out the Sorting Hat scene?

I’ll agree that the stop in Rio didn’t need to be kept, or even the boat ride, aside from to see the whole isle.  And then, when it finally does get to the important sex scenes, first they’re all condensed into one (making the pregnancy even faster), and then you hardly get to see anything before it fades to black.

Once she’s pregnant, the rest of the film is about keeping her alive (if you don’t know how they work out how to do that, I’m not going to spoil it) and Jacob defecting from a tribe that cares more about destroying “it” than who gets hurt in the process.

The birth scene is probably the most disturbing part of the film, quickly followed by a different kind of disturbing that may vary depending on how you felt about Edward watching Bella sleep.  Don’t be disappointed, there is still a werewolves vs vampires sequence.

My rating: 3 out of 5.

That’s probably a long short, but continue reading if you want more detail!

Alice being given free rein on the wedding means exactly what you might expect it to mean – at least twice as many guests as Bella probably would have wanted, flowers everywhere, a pretty dress, fancy hairdo and shoes the bride can’t walk in (which is never fully resolved, but okay.)

There’s more of the wedding, such as a couple of amusing speeches from Angela and Charlie, who reminds Edward that he’s a cop who knows how to hunt people down (we won’t mention how many times Edward’s snuck into the house without his noticing, and the visitor from the last film who actually stood over him.  In his defence, they’re very quiet vampires.)

Then it’s off for the honeymoon! If you’ve been worrying about the graphicness of the sex scene, don’t.  You barely see anything. (though seriously, if you sat through the violence that was the big battle in Eclipse, you can’t handle a small – possibly a bit too small, after the build up – sex scene?

And then… dun dun dun.

Time for the actual action to start – I didn’t time it, but I suppose I can see why people might think it takes a bit long to get here.

Bella’s late! (of course she got pregnant after one time, got to move that part along.)  This of course puts an abrupt end to the honeymoon.  First a call to Carlisle, who is as shocked as Edward, then a visit from the cleaning lady whose reaction is very helpful and probably just what Edward was looking for. (yes, that was sarcasm.)

Charlie’s fed a story about Bella not being well and going to a medical centre, which he immediately wants to come to – just as well they talk him out of it, because they actually go back to the Cullens’.

From the looks of things, Bella’s getting more and more pregnant – and emaciated – while Carlisle continues to not know how to help her.  The solution comes courtesy of Jacob, and as someone who hasn’t read the book, that was the first point I had to turn away – as did most of the Cullens.

Meanwhile, Jacob’s defected from his tribe, with Seth and Leah in tow.  He isn’t going to stick around when all they care about is destroying the baby whether or not it means killing Bella or Cullens in the process.

In probably the most disturbing part of the film, the birth is far from the quick and spotless affair it is in most films.  As if that’s not enough, once the baby’s out, the dying mother needs to be injected with Edward’s venom (if she’d known about that, bet she’d have at least tried to use it on herself at some point) and bitten several times to try and get it to work.

Jacob has managed to get the wolves to stay back and let him deal with the baby.  He creeps up on Rosalie, getting closer and closer… until the baby looks at him with a smile that they did not get that kid to do by itself.  If you’ve read the book, you know what happens next.  If you haven’t, I won’t spoil it.  Needless to say, it’s exactly what was needed to make the wolves back off (there’s that problem solved.)

[On a side note, do I just have bad taste, or is Renesmee really not that bad of a name? It’s better than Edward Jacob, at any rate.  Yes, I know that would have been a boy’s name, not my point.]

A steady thumping is the background noise to a montage of the Bella/Edward relationship in reverse – a nice alternative to the screaming and writhing that there would have been a lot more of otherwise – until silence.  It took me longer than it should have to realize what the thumping was, but you know where this is going.  It’s transformation time.

And also, the end of the movie.  Don’t forget to wait, there’s one last scene in the credits.

Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows, part 1

vs.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, part 1

Of the reviews I’ve read, they all seem to share the same opinion in comparison to the plot-heavy Harry Potter; this film cannot handle being a two parter.  So if the choice is between the three protagonists walking around, camping and fighting and protagonists who are getting married, consummating their relationship and having vampire babies, the former is preferable?

I have to say that I disagree with that.  I found Harry Potter to be the one to drag and Breaking Dawn the good one (though not having finished the book yet, I don’t know exactly how much got left out).  I will admit that putting something fairly important in the closing credits seemed like they got something wrong and just needed to find a way to force it in, though.

 The books vs the films

After following a pattern of read the book, watch the film, I’ve found that I prefer the books.  The films are nice to watch to see it being acted out (albeit not brilliantly, though the acting in this one seemed better), but reading the books gives you details that make the films better.

I’m the first to complain that they drag on more than necessary (now, they do), but there are things in the books that add to the story, and pieces left out of the films that make things make slightly less sense.

Book beats films: Bella and Edward actually getting to know each other a bit at first. “I bit the pillow.”

Film beats book: (yes, it’s happened) Riley in Eclipse.  In the book, he turns up randomly, in the film he’s mentioned from the start.

Conclusion

I’ve never tried to decide how many stars out of five to give a film before… speaking as a non-Twihard and a non-hater, I think… probably 3.

It loses points for the acting, even if it was a bit better in this one, and for points made above; it makes silly things longer and skips important parts.

The birth scene wanders into horror territory after three relatively bloodless films (violent, but not bloody), which loses points personally as someone who doesn’t like violence, but also changes the tone of the film somewhat.  Especially when we’ve learned about how bad newborns can be; what might we get in part 2?

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