DIR: Bill Condon • WRI: Katherine Fugate • PRO: Wyck Godfrey, Stephenie Meyer, Karen Rosenfelt • DOP: Guillermo Navarro • ED: Virginia Katz • DES: Richard Sherman • CAST: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is extremely graphic with disturbing undertones, poor special effects, a terrible script, and weak performances, and to top it off Jacob hardly has his shirt off… If you are not in anyway familiar with the previous three movies, you will struggle to make sense of the opening sequence. Unfortunately, as the film progressed I was reminded that making any sort of sense just isn’t a Twilight thing and it is not showcased any better then in this installment. I usually love weddings in film and I am very much a romantic but was almost completely unmoved by the wedding and honeymoon sequences and the cheesy montages were vomit inducing and aided the painful slow moving pace of the film. Bella and Edward get married. Bella and Edward go on a spectacular honeymoon. Oh no wait, Bella is still awkard about something. They have yet to have sexual intercourse and Edward is afraid he will hurt Bella or even kill her. She doesn’t care.
We are informed of this when Kristen and Jacob share an intimate moment at her wedding and he is appalled that she is going to have sex with Edward as a human, given the high risk of death and injury and the poor tortured soul/gentle admirer of bella/werewolf kind of has a point but Bella is of course a silly little girl in love and so will ignore all warnings so she can get herself some vampire love. She doesn’t listen to him at all, despite uttering with passion that ‘everything is complete now’ at his arrival at her big day. Poor Edward is left arkwardly trying to be cool with the fact that his woman actually shows emotion with the other guy. We get it. The love triangle is still on obviously despite the fact that Bella has made her choice, Jacob is still her bitch.
The love scene itself is dealt with in a classy enough fashion when the couple are alone at last in Brazil for the honeymoon. When Edward and Bella share an intimate embrace in the water outside their stunning honeymoon abode it is a rare, pleasant and romantic moment. However, what is disturbing is the morning after Bella and Edward sleep together finally and the bedroom is in quite a state, Bella is shown to have a number of bruises. When Edward views them as requested by him, he is very ashamed but Bella doesn’t care, it fact it seems she kind of likes having evidence of him on her. This is dangerous stuff, for young impressionable female viewers to watch. Like Rihanna and her music it gives a terrible implication that men can hurt women, because sometimes they just can’t control themselves, the fact that Edward Cullen is this vampire apparently embodying perfection actually makes it worse, especially given his ‘old fashioned good intentions’.
Kristin Stewart showcases her one-dimensional acting yet again but this time as the tone of the film is more ‘adult’, her arkwardness is altered slightly in an attempt to convey Bella Swan as a very sexual little thing who craves Edward yet is still as insecure and fragile as ever. She looks thin enough at the start of the film and then later when she falls pregnant and has effectively a potential monster inside of her, she becomes more and more frightening to look at, and almost wastes away into nothing. When she returns home and hides out in the Cullen household, she is humiliated for Jacob to look at her when the tortured young man realises that she is back in town and well half-dead and all and so rushes to be by her side having to dodge reluctant Cullen family members. Jacob acts kind of like the voice of normality and logic in the film despite being a werewolf and all. The poor human friends of Bella from school do not feature again after a bit of screen time at the wedding, where they grab some of the best lines in the film and commence the film feeling like a satire. Bad move putting them in at all as Anna Kendrick outshines Stewart with a line or two and minimal screen time. Why wasn’t she Bella again? Oh yes, she is too good.
When Bella finds out she is pregnant, what follows is a lot of moodiness, aggression and tension in a family feud extravaganza with a lot of pained expressions going on leading up to a shocking and horrid birthing scene in the final sequence. The shocking images will stay with you as you leave the cinema. One could discuss at length, the disturbing references to abortion, sexual violence and of course the horrific representation of all things woman in the film. The cast look like they are just going through the motions and it feels like a big satire with a sequence from a horror movie shoved in at the end.
If you like Twilight, you are going to adore this even more apparently but if you didn’t like the other films and are not a fan of the book, er… avoid at all costs.
Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is released on 18th November 2011