Posted by: popcouver | December 5, 2011

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Review

Well, here we are. Once again a new Twilight film has arrived in theatres with maximum amounts of hype, hysteria, and media attention. Once again, the only people who are really interested or thrilled with the outcome are the Twi-Hards. Breaking Dawn Part 1 has received lukewarm reviews from all of the major papers and blogs, while all our favorite fans, friends, and Twilight bloggers are generally thrilled with how true Bill Condon kept to Stephenie Meyer’s novel. And really, why should it be any different?

The Twi-Hards are the ones that Summit is making these films for. They aren’t trying to turn the series into anything new. They are staying true to the supernatural love triangle that the fans of the novels and films are so crazy about. When I go to see a Twilight film, all I want is a visual representation of those crazy addicting teen novels. With Breaking Dawn, that is exactly what we got. Even the most crazeballs, cringe-worthy parts of the novel claimed a bit of the spotlight. Bill Condon obviously decided not to face the wrath of the Twilight fans that would likely occur if he had say, changed Renesmee’s name or removed the section of the book where the wolves communicate with telepathy. Most of us would have understood minor changes such as those, but Condon stuck to his (and Stephenie Meyer’s) guns, and for that, you have to respect the guy.

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t already seen the film, stop reading here. And you may as well stop reading our blog. (Just kidding! We love you non-Twi-lovers too!)

I may have initially had issues with BD being split into two film. You know, the usual argument: money grab, marketing, unnecessary to the novel, etc. This ain’t Harry Potter, ya’ll. However, after seeing it, I have to say I really appreciated all the time that the 2 part breakdown allowed for us to revel in the lovey-dovey newlywed phase of Bella and Edward. I mean, we’ve been waiting for that ever since we finished reading the series, so we may as well get some time to enjoy it! I was disappointed at first with the wedding night sexytime, but throw in Bella’s flashbacks and I was a happy camper!

 

Things I loved:

Simple little moments of comedic relief.

In a movie full of drama and anger and jealousy and martyrdom, it was great to see cute little touches that made you giggle. I loved Alice directing the other Cullens on where to drop off their tree trunks. Bella attempting to walk in 5 inch Manolos? Priceless.  Jacob had a few great cracks about demon-babies, and of course I loved loved loved Jessica’s sarcastic commentary of the wedding. Anna Kendrick once more stole the show. I only wish she could have a part in the final film— unless the producers come up with some clever way of adding the humans in with a flashback?

Film montage of Bella’s life, ie) the first 3 films.

Every time we get a flash of Bella and Edward in the previous films, my heart tugs a little bit. It takes me back to when I saw the first film for the first time and immediately went back in for a second showing. Catherine Hardwick understood something about this series that only she and Kristen really get- the gritty, deep, intense love of a human and a vampire. Le sigh. I loved going back through Bella’s journey— it got me so excited for Part 2 when she’s all vamped up!!!!

Edward hearing the baby’s thoughts:

This scene was surprisingly non-vomatrocious. I was seriously concerned when I saw it coming, but then it was SO DAMN CUTE. I was impressed with Kristen and Rob… they really transformed Bella and Edward into a married couple. I loved Edward kissing Bella’s tummy and listening to the baby’s thoughts. Can’t help it! I loved it!

Renee and Charlie noticing the Cullen’s art.

HA. Loved Charlie staring at the graduation caps and Renee giggling and running on by- such a clever way to represent their underlying differences as parents and as people.

Extra Bill Condon-y details.

The plentiful gore. Bella’s pre-wedding nightmare. The epic black-and-red credits. The climax of Bella opening her vampire eyes. Perfection.

Jacob teasing Bella about “Renesmee”.

So cute. Such a clever way for Condon to accept the ridiculous nature of that damn name while staying true to characters and true to the novel.

The Soundtrack:

SO GLAD THE BRUNO MARS SONG ISN’T IN THE FILM. I’m not saying it’s not a pretty, catchy pop tune. It is! But it does not, I repeat, does not fit into the epic trail of movie soundtracks that the Twilight Saga has blessed us with. Everything else fit in so perfectly… particularly the Iron & Wine remix.

 

Overall, I think Bill Condon and the team at Summit did what they could with this movie. Is it Oscar-worthy? No! Was it ever meant to be? Absolutely not. The team has taken the Twi-Love to heart and have accepted that to please us, they must follow the novels. They followed the story, they added in cute and funny details, and they stayed true to every chapter. I can’t wait to see the second half and take in Kristen Stewart as a confident, sure-footed, vampire vixen! It will definitely be her biggest acting challenge to date- walking straight.

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