Breaking Dawn: Part One (or: Beasts, Babies, and Blood)

January 9, 2012
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Breaking Dawn: Part One. Part one? The bland, anti-climatic storyline of the book Breaking Dawn in its entirety couldn't have made an exciting and interesting movie—basing the film off of half the book made it boring and awkward—an altogether 117 minutes worth of lousiness.

Perhaps, Breaking Dawn was split into two sections to compete with the popular Harry Potter series, more specifically Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts one and two. However, Harry Potter made far more money on opening nights then did Breaking Dawn, as it well deserved to. In contrast with the Twilight saga's shallow characters and plot, the Harry Potter series delves deep into the storyline, making it seem almost like reality and creating emotional bonds between its characters and the audience.

Yet somehow, on its opening night in theaters (beginning at midnight), Breaking Dawn Part One made $30.3 million, an incredibly large amount! How did it manage to do so? The main answer lies in its dedicated, obsessed fans. Nearly eighty percent of its audience opening night were females. And to impress and keep moviegoers in their seats, Breaking Dawn desperately relies on the sex appeal of heartthrob Taylor Lautner. Thirty seconds into the film, Taylor Lautner (aka Jacob Black, the werewolf) furiously rips off his shirt, revealing his twenty pack abs and basketball sized biceps. This of course drew screams of delight from the audience; however, the movie goes steeply downhill from there.

The main events in this movie were: the highly anticipated wedding scene, the honeymoon, and Bella's pregnancy. The wedding scene, in contrast to the rest of the movie, lived up to my high expectations. Kristen Stewart (aka Bella Swan) looked beautiful, and her wedding dress was beyond gorgeous. The wedding took place at the Cullen's property, in the midst of a lush green forest. The cinematography and music were excellent—and the after-wedding party scene was hilarious: the audience and I erupted into laughter when Charlie, Bella's dad, announced, “Edward will be a good husband. I know this because I'm a cop; I know things. Like how to hunt somebody to the ends of the earth. And I know how to use a gun.”

However, the wedding scene did have some awkward parts. When Jacob Black unexpectedly shows up at Bella's wedding as a “surprise wedding gift,” he asks Bella for a dance. During the dance, the couple's conversation is steered towards Bella's upcoming honeymoon. Jacob, who is under the impression that Bella, in a few hours, will be beginning the painful transformation into a vampire, asks Bella why she and Edward (played by Robert Patterson—who is not quite as attractive as he ought to be) are having a honeymoon at all—it's not like they can have a real one right? Well, Bella sets Jacob straight: No, she not becoming a vampire tonight, and yes, she and Edward are going to have real honeymoon. Jacob quickly becomes enraged: “What? While you're still human? You can't be serious Bella! Tell me you're not that stupid!”Accusing Bella of putting herself in immense danger, he quickly becomes out of control, and is dragged off—nearly bursting into his wolf form--by his close-by friends. That scene, for me, was abrupt and uncomfortable, detracting from the overall quality of the wedding (However, that scene was included in the book, so the producers most likely didn't have choice).

Now for the honeymoon scene, which composed nearly a fifth of the entire film. Taking place on a beautiful deserted island, you would think not much could go wrong. However, this was not the case. After Edward and Bella's arrival, Edward asks Bella is up for a moonlit swim. Bella agrees, but asks for a couple “human minutes.” While Edward strides off into the water, stripping off his shirt to reveal a pale, not-at-all-hot torso, Bella nervously combs her hair, brushes her teeth, and gives herself a pep talk. Then, she walks out onto the beach in a towel, drops it (thankfully not revealing anything—the film is PG-13 after all), and joins Edward in the water. The swimming scene is played out far too long; enough time to notice how hard the film is trying to keep Kristen Stewart from permanently scarring the 13-year-olds watching. And staring at Patterson's and Stewart's bare backs for what felt like an eternity hardly helped the experience.

The morning after her arrival on the island, Bella awakens to find herself in the midst of piles of feathers, surrounded by broken furniture, and covered in bruises. Edward is (rightfully) horrified; Bella, on the other hand, is quite the opposite—and even goes so far as to beg for more. This romanticism of aggressive sexual behavior is not something that pre-teens and teenagers should be viewing as a norm.

Edward swears to never touch Bella again until after she turns; however as the couple spends the next several days playing checkers and adventuring around the island, Bella manages to “seduce her all too willing husband,” and all is well. However, Bella soon discovers that she is pregnant; an unexpected but unoriginal plight.

“During the build-up to Breaking Dawn, Patterson, Stewart, and director Bill Condon promised that the birthing scene would be as graphic and dramatic as possible. 'I think that within the confines of a PG-13 rating, I think we've got something that's pretty powerful,' Condon told Box Office Magazine, saying that the scene was like one out of a horror film, 'And ...the birth...[was done] from Bella's point of view'” (Huffingtonpost.com). Apparently, during the birthing scene, there have been reports of at least two viewers experiencing seizures due to the flashing of bright lights and colors such as red, black, and white. The movie should come with a warning or something.

As the baby rapidly grows inside her, Bella gets progressively worse. The “fetus” is incompatible with her body and won't allow her to get the nutrition she needs, and Bella soon becomes a yellowed, corpse-like figure. Although obviously all achieved through extreme photo-shopping, one cannot help but feel disturbed at this transformation, which the camera was focused on for nearly the rest of the movie.

When it is discovered that only through drinking human blood can Bella survive, the movie takes on another gruesome factor—seeing Bella curled up on a couch happily sipping a cup of thick, red fluid like you and I would a lemonade is sickening. And when Bella finally goes into labor, her back snapping in the process, the film reaches its climax: Bella, laying on a table, and Edward chewing the baby out. Blood everywhere—a hemophobe's worst nightmare. After the baby (Renesmee—most likely not on the popular baby names list) is born, Bella seemingly dies. Edward desperately tries a combination of (rather forcible) CPR and plunging syringe filled with his own venom into her yellowed, skeletal body. While he works over Bella's seemingly lifeless body, the camera zooms in on her face—eyes glazed over, cheeks sunken in, hair limp and faded—for what had to be at least five minutes. Several minutes of pure revulsion. Come on, who wants to spend their time staring at a corpse (or, more accurately, a 99% corpse) on the big screen!?

In all, I would say Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is highly inappropriate for audiences under, say, sixteen years of age. News reports have relayed stories of young children having to leave the theaters vomiting. Several young teenagers I've personally spoken with claim they had nightmares over the disturbing images. Not to mention the violent sexual conduct displayed by Edward Cullen, the controlling and over-protective vampire that Patterson plays in the film. And if you experience nausea at mention or sight of blood, this movie is probably not your cup of tea. Let's be honest though. It is a movie about vampires after all—there's bound to be at least some blood and gore, right?

Grade: C+

Rated: PG-16; partial nudity, brief sexuality, and disturbing images

WARNING: This film can cause seizures. Watch at your own risk!





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

yoyo baby said...
Jan. 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm
THIS MOVIE WAS THE BEST MOVIE I EVER SAW!!! IT DESERVES AT LEAST A B+.
 
yoyo baby said...
Jan. 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm
this is not true. well...it's not my opinion. but my opinion is that it's not disturbing. it is JUST A MOVIE...a VERY GOOD ONE AT THAT,THANK YOU VERY MUCh.
 
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