Monday, November 28, 2011

To The Movies: Breaking Dawn Part 1

When a storyline from a book is turned into a movie, the movie becomes its own text. The basic storyline may be the same, but when changes are made in order to fit the movie within a time limit or to highlight an element or theme that the people involved in the movie feels is important—they make the story their own. I will focus these features on movies made based on books I have read—I want to look beyond whether I think the movie is better or worse than the book. I want to appreciate and review the movie as a companion to the book.

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Drama, Adventure
Actors: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner
Director: Bill Condon
Scriptwriter: Melissa Rosenberg
Date Released: November 18, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Movie Info: IMDB | Website
Rating: 2 Stars
Purchased ticket.

In A Nutshell:
There is action.  There is romance.  And there are answers to the biggest question I had--how exactly did Edward break the headboard on the honeymoon.  But overall, I felt the movie was lacking in something.  I was not drawn into the story nearly as much as in previous movies.

I cannot define what exactly was missing, but something was.  Maybe part of the trouble for me was that this part of the story was not the part of the book I liked the most--I personally preferred the book after Bella's transformation so I expect I will like Breaking Dawn Part 2 better.

The wedding scene was beautiful and as over the top as I expected after reading the books.  Alice missed her calling as a wedding planner.  The wedding toasts seemed so cheesy and obnoxious--I just kept thinking would people really say that.  And would Alice have just sit by and let it continue?  I just felt awkward while watching it.  

Breaking Dawn Part 1 is not an easy movie to watch--the changes in Bella's body as the baby grows are startling and a little mortifying--and I gagged a little when Bella started drinking the human blood and said that it tasted good.  The blood on her dried cracked lips--ick!  

I also think that people who have not read the books and have only been watching the movies will have lost a lot because the backstory on the immortal children is not really discussed in the movie.  What they are?  How they were created?  Why they were banned?  How Bella and Edward's daughter is different from them?  I think understanding that will be important to understanding Breaking Dawn Part 2 and the justification for the battle at the end. 

The scene that really struck me though was when Jacob imprinted on the baby.  The look, the pictures that flooded his mind through her eyes, that really stuck with me. 

And then the red eyes that open just before the credits start--I loved those eyes.  But I was also a little heartbroken because it was just getting to the part of the book I really enjoyed and now I know I have to wait to see it. 

Have you seen the movie?  What did you think?


  1. I saw the movie yesterday, I agree with you for the most part. I think the movie is good companion to the book but those who didn't read the book are at loss. There are definitely some things not well enough explained in the films, but it's understandably due to time limitation. I loved the Jacob imprinting scene, it was done perfectly! Great review!

  2. I have read all the books, but haven't seen any of the movies.
    So now I feel like I have to see the other movies before this one. I think I'll wait until BD Two comes out, then have a huge movie marathon.

    Fortunately I don't have this problem with the Hunger Games. I can't wait for that to be released!!

  3. @Jen Ryland I would definitely watch the other movies first because the way certain things have been handled or explained in the movies is a little different than the books. A movie marathon does sound like fun. And I am with you...Hunger Games I may be there at midnight!

    @Pepca I am glad to hear I was not the last one to see the movie. I had to wait for a day off. :)