Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review of the Movie, Breaking Dawn

I admit it. I was as sucked into the Twilight series as anyone, but I was late to the game. Before this series, I rarely read paranormal or fantasy books. I have always been drawn to real life stories and struggles and easily driven to nightmares. But my younger sister handed me Twilight at the beach one summer. I was hooked, reading all three books in a week.

Part 1 poster from Wikipedia
My biggest complaint through the first three books was Bella. I didn't appreciate a teenage girl in this day and age being so in love she overlooked all reason, all warnings. Plus, I found her downright whiny at times. Why were two men fighting over such a whiny, little girl? But she grew on me. At the end of New Moon, I was torn. Bella loved two men, and I could see the advantages of both.

When Breaking Dawn was released in 2008, I rushed to buy it the first day and read it in a weekend. I couldn't put it down. Finally I saw Bella as a strong, powerful female character willing to put her life on the line for her child, not just for Edward.

I knew the movie for Breaking Dawn would need to be split. Quite frankly, it should have been two books. My sisters and I went to a late showing over Thanksgiving. So much fun seeing it with them. It took me back to the days of being teenagers and going to the movies together.

Part of the fun of these movies is seeing all the books' fans coming out in droves. But I always wonder, what do the non-Twilight readers think of the movies? Breaking Dawn, in particular, left so much out. Having read the books, I filled in the background of Leah's pain from Sam dissing her, the unwavering determination Bella had to protect her unborn baby, why Bella chose Rosalie as protector, etc. It's hard for me to objectively review this movie when I can fill in so many blanks.

My gut reaction... people who don't know the books would have been lost and completely uninspired by Breaking Dawn. What a shame. I thought Bella's determination to save her baby was a turning point for the character. The one scene I thought the movie handled very well was Jacob imprinting. When I read this in the book, I thought it was hokey and just plain icky. But I must admit, when he fell to his knees before Renesmee, it was sweet and powerful.

So much was missing from the movie. Even though I could fill in the blanks from the book, it had been awhile since I read it. The movie seemed spotty and thin in parts. I wanted more of Bella's strong will and Jacob's decision to break from his pack. On the positive side, I thought the honeymoon was sweet, and the makeup artists should be commended for the amazing job they did making Kristen Stewart seem frail and almost lifeless.

If you loved the book, you'll want to see the movie, see the characters and story come to life. If you didn't like or read the book, skip it. I have higher hopes for the second part. The action should increase with the Volturi and Bella's transformation, and the filmmakers should want to go out with a bang.

Note: This movie is not for younger kids. The honeymoon and birth scenes are disturbing. I don't want any of my daughters thinking that's what either milestone is like. I did let my oldest daughter see the first three, but drew the line at this one. I'm glad I did.


Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of the books as well. The movies just aren't as great, although I think they have definately gotten better with each one. I actually really liked Breaking Dawn but I see your point now that you mention it--about there being holes. I didn't even think about the Rosalie thing, but a person who hadn't read the books wouldn't understand the connection there. I have to say though that the real reason I'm commenting is to applaud you for not letting your daughters see it. (Although I'm sure they weren't so happy). I, too, wouldn't want my daughter seeing it until she were old enough (not sure what age that would be--luckily I have a while). But I tink too many parents don't even care, or figure "it's just Twilight." In fact, I thought the books, particularly Breaking Dawn were too mature for a lot of the young girls reading them. So, cheers to you!

Melissa said...

You basically took the words right out of my mouth, and I agree that there were spots in the movie I wish could have been bulked up or done just a bit differently.

Still . . . I'm going to see it again with a friend this weekend. LOL!

Tia Bach said...

Tia, I only thought about it later because someone who had never read the books was asking me a lot of questions. I realized I filled in the blanks without even thinking about it.

My preteen was upset with me at first, but I had warned her after reading the book that she probably wouldn't be seeing it.

Melissa, I'll be seeing again, too, I'm sure. I can't imagine the pressure of having to make a movie from such a beloved series.

Thanks for stopping by! I always appreciate comment love!