Blu Ray Review: Breaking Dawn Part One


Breaking Dawn

Part 1

The Twilight Saga




Edward’s continence makes him appear distant and disinterested.  Not unlike Pride and Prejudice‘s famed romantic hero, Mr. Darcy.  Darcy, of course, was restrained by the strict manners and social expectations of 19th century England; while Edward’s emotions are held in check by the internal fear that he may lose himself to his vampiric, animal tendencies.

This fear is made real in Breaking Dawn; first on he and Bella’s wedding night, when his inhuman strength leave Bella bruised the morning after (though, as it turns out, she likes it rough); and second in what befalls her as a result of her night with Edward, a baby.

But not just any baby, a demon baby.  Bella gets sicker and sicker as the baby inside feeds from her, leaving her frail and on the edge of death.  All the Cullens, including their medical doctor patriarch, advise an abortion (without ever using the actual word) but Bella refuses.  Luckily, there’s no heavy handed abortion debate.  The Cullen’s position is clearly the correct one, medically speaking; but Bella is left free to make her own choice on the matter, as it should be.  Bella’s actions regarding the baby are reflective of those with regard to Edward; love makes her act irrationally.

There’s some great makeup effects for Bella in this film.  As the pregnancy wears on, she gets weaker, anorexic, and downright ugly.  It makes the whole ‘having a baby’ thing seem very unglamorous, even when you are with a sparkly vampire and his very attractive family.

While the series was set up with a love triangle, Edward-Bella-Jacob, it’s always been a one-sided one.  Even in the brief time Bella spent with Jacob in the second film, he was clearly a second-rate fill in for her.  Thus, the wedding that opens this entry into the franchise offers little tension or mixed emotions.  Edward, knowing the sincerity of Jacob’s feelings and being confident in Bella’s, has developed a sort-of respect for Jacob, one that’s less shared by his bitter rival.  But Jacob, above all else, wants Bella to be happy, and has accepted (grudgingly as it may be) the fact that only Edward can make that so.

Jacob’s werewolf friends council him to move on, with the hopes of finding someone he can ‘imprint’ on; ‘imprinting’ being a werewolf thing where they form a permanent emotional connection with the one they love.  He seems, on a logical level, to know that he should; just as he must be confused that he hasn’t imprinted on Bella, despite being in love with her.

The vampire baby story dominates Breaking Dawn, leaving little time for other action or plot development.  Since she spends most of the movie sick, Bella’s character isn’t developed all that much.  Edward fares a little better, as he starts showing real emotion while watching Bella waste away.  Jacob’s wolf pack decide (without his consent) to kill the baby and its mother, for fear that it will become a danger once born.  This plot line comes to a climax, but a fairly sedate (though satisfying for other reasons) one.

Breaking Dawn is about what you’d expect from the Twilight series.  It lacks the action of the third entry, but it has a more structured plot and better acting than some of its predecessors.  It also sets up some interesting story lines for ‘Part 2.’

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