Wednesday 16 November 2011

The Movie Was Better: Breaking Dawn Part 1

So. I just got back from watching Breaking Dawn Part 1. As I've mentioned a few times this week, I haven't been that excited about watching it - I especially haven't felt the anxious excitement that I experienced with the first film (and, to a lesser extent, the second and third). Part of this I think is because it's been so long between movies, and my interest has naturally subsided. Another part is the fact that it's split into two movies, and I knew I'd have to wait another whole year to get the complete story... But mostly I think it's coz I really hated the book. It makes me ragey.

All that being said, the movie was... OK. It was pretty much what I expected it to be. There were a few things I LOVED, many that I laughed at, a couple that I hated, and still more that left me feeling not a lot at all. I'm going to break it down below, so if you don't want to read some massive spoilers for the movie STOP NOW.

The first and probably last time I'll use car-related humour. (Source)
What I liked
  • Bella's wedding shoes and the back of her dress are gorgeous. I wasn't a fan of the front though. 
  • The wedding vows were adorable - especially because they played "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron and Wine in the background as they said their vows and then as they kissed, with the camera panning around them. It was a lovely, unexpected echo of the first film that tied it together nicely and reinforced the fact that Bella is getting exactly what she wanted when she first danced with Edward to that song.
  • Jessica is a welcome voice of reason and hilarity - "Do you think Bella will be showing?... Please, why else would you get married at 18?!"
  • The lullaby is back! After going missing in New Moon and Eclipse, Bella's lullaby is played not once, but TWICE in Breaking Dawn Part 1. The first time is when Edward is doing his speech, and the second is towards the end, in a flashback montage of Bella and Edward's relationship. I was so happy to hear it again and thought they used it really well, especially the second time.
  • The honeymoon is pretty cute. There are some sexy scenes, though nothing too graphic obviously. But it was MUCH better than the fade-to-black in the book. When I read it, I hated how Edward freaked out and Bella practically had to beg him to have sex with her again, but it's not as annoying in the movie. It's actually kinda cute, with scenes of them having fun together as Edward tries to tire Bella out, she tries to seduce him and he tries to resist. Their interactions are pretty sweet. Then she gets pregnant, and it's all downhill from there.
  • There were a few things that were cut from the book that I was so glad not to see, especially the term "little nudger", and Edward's request that Jacob give Bella "puppies". Ugh.
  • Edward actually gets some balls and becomes really angry with Bella. He even yells! He apologises later, naturally, but at least he wasn't a total wimp like he was in the book.
  • They kind of made a joke out of the fact that Bella (read: Stephenie Meyer) chose the worst name ever for her baby. WORST. NAME. EVER. They all looked totally embarrassed to say it out loud. Which was pretty hilarious.
  • The part where Edward "hears" the baby (I'm avoiding that name as much as possible) for the first time happens when he's alone with Bella, and it's actually quite a touching, beautiful moment between the two of them.
  • The fight with the wolf pack at the end added some much-needed action.
What I didn't like
I'm not going to list everything, because then we'd be here all night. Needless to say, I've got a lot of issues with Breaking Dawn - much the same issues I think many fans have. As for the movie, its faults are largely due to the crappy plot it inherited from Stephenie Meyer. But there were a few movie-specific things that irked me:
  • The hair and makeup. I swear, it's been getting worse with each movie. The one that bothered me most was Edward. He's supposed to be BEAUTIFUL, but his hair was way too dark and flat most of the time, and his face was way too pasty. I know he's a vampire, but it was just not a hot shade of white. What made it even worse was that a few times when, say, he had a top button open on his shirt, his skin was clearly a different colour below the neck. Lame. The one area makeup worked was when Bella is preggo. She definitely looked like crapola, as she's supposed to.
  • I don't really remember Renee being so happy with Bella getting married in the book. And wasn't she warning Bella OFF getting so serious with Edward in the last movie?! Her excitement when she receives the invitation just felt a bit wrong to me. Charlie's reaction, on the other hand, was pretty spot on - as was his speech at the wedding!
  • It's been awhile since I read the book, so I could be wrong, but I also thought Bella knew long before Breaking Dawn that Edward had killed people. His last-minute confession on the night before their wedding was just weird and out of place.
  • The scenes where the pack are all in wolf form and communicating telepathically are kinda, well, lame. 
  • I was personally glad not to have to witness Bella spewing up blood, but the birth scene, while not all that graphic, was still pretty gruesome. The director definitely tried to add in some more horror elements in this movie, and I can appreciate that, but let's face it - 99.9% of fans are watching this for the love story. You don't go to Twilight if you want to be scared. It's like McDonald's trying to add salads to their meals. Missing the point!
  • RENESMEE. Need I say more? Everything about the name, the character, the whole plotline, is horrible. It's bad in the book, but it was kinda worse in the movie, especially watching Jacob fall to his knees at the sight of a baby. Pretty creepy. It's even creepier when Edward has to explain to everyone that Jacob has imprinted on his daughter. It was icky enough to read about, but hearing it out loud was totally gross. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
  • I think I'm going to dislike Part 2 even more, because that was the part I really didn't enjoy in the book. There's so much RENESMEE in it, which I can't stand, and I found it hard to relate to Bella as a vampire. But I still don't want to have to wait a whole freaking year to see it. It's WAY too long between parts, in my opinion. They're just prolonging the pain.
Rating: 2.5/5

If you've seen Breaking Dawn Part 1, let me know what you thought!


  1. Thanks for the heads up! I feel like the movies have progressively gotten better though I felt as though I could have done without Breaking Dawn in novel format. I'm headed to the movies with my mum this weekend to see it and I'll let you know my thoughts!

    Oh, I saw these and thought of you:

  2. I've very apprehensive to see this movie too. There was so much I didn't enjoy in the book and so far the first two movies were not good at all. Eclipse was better and I was hoping it would be an upward trend.

    I think my major problem is that I don't think Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart can act.

  3. Hey Belle! I found your site through Missie's blog and now I'm a new follower. :)

    Thank you for an in depth movie review. I have absolutely zero interest in seeing BD. Like you, I hated the book with a passion. I don't know about you but I really felt betrayed with the book's final ending and it came off as a really poorly written fan fiction. I demand a rewrite. LOL

  4. Thanks for your honest take. I look forward to it.

    Oh and you're right about her mom. She was supportive but not thrilled if memory serves me correctly.

  5. @Nikki - Those are amazing, thanks for the link!

    @Lisa - I really don't like Kristen's acting. I was thinking that last night as I was watching it, I really wish they'd cast a different Bella.

    @Rummanah - Thanks for stopping by! I totally agree, it felt exactly like a bad fan fiction! The characters were so different it didn't even feel like it should be connected to the rest of the series.

    @Juju - I'd be really interested to know what you think of it!

  6. I need to see this just out of curiosity! I enjoyed the books UP until this one, so I'm not waiting in line to see it, but will probably see it when it is on netflix or something. LOL I'm glad you did see it and gave the honest review. Oh and I do like the car pic. ;)

  7. Ahhh...everything about this book is just disappointing. It's not a lot to work with in terms of making the movie.

  8. @Melissa - Me too, I loved the first three book and hated the last one. I rewatched the other movies at the cinema but I think once is enough for Breaking Dawn ;-)

    @Alexis - Yep, there was not really one thing I liked in the book.

  9. I just can't make myself watch this film. I've considered it, I really have, but I just... can't.

    I LOATHED that book. I don't think I've ever disliked a book that strongly. I hate everything about Renesme and all the reactions of all the characters and I just can't see myself not just getting really angry in the cinema.

    I'm glad they made her actually look gross when she was pregnant though. I half-expected it to be all sunshine and flowers.

  10. @Hanna - Yes there are few books I dislike as much as this one! It's probably a good idea to give it a miss. The makeup was all terrible on the film, except for when Bella was actually meant to look like crap, coz she did!

  11. I just saw the movie, and I loved it. So there must be something wrong with me, haha.

    I think it's just logical that any book adaptation has to take liberties to make it work in movie format, otherwise we would be led off on a thousand different tangents, which would make the movie slow and boring. Like a lot of people, I last read the books about 2 years ago and I think that the movie captured the essence of the plot, whilst keeping it interesting. The stuff it may have left out or changed wasn't integral to making the film version work. The only time I was bored was when the wolves were having their telepathic discussion, so that's a pretty good indicator to me.

    Edward's make-up was definitely O.T.T. in this one! Shame about that. but agreed, they did a great job with Bella, and I think the gory scenes added a lot to the movie.

    I don't have a problem with the imprinting thing because it's not supposed to be a sexual thing. It's not at that point anyway. They also mentioned it in the movie, that it's a protective thing, a brotherly thing even. So yeah. 100% not weird to me!

    I loved the ending of the movie, with the close-up on Bella's eyes opening and then the credits. I'm looking forward to the next one.

    I hope someone else manages to like the movie too, hahaha.

  12. I'm glad you liked it! The thing with the imprinting, I know it's not sexual when she's a baby, but I still find it so creepy that he's going to see her as a baby/child, take care of her, practically help raise her - and then one day be in a relationship with her. That still ooks me. I also hate how one minute he's completely in love with Bella and the next second he's all about her daughter. That is also a creepy aspect.
    I thought the ending was good, it's exactly where I thought they would/should split it actually - I wish the second one wasn't a whole year away!

  13. I loved the movie from start to finish. My only gripes are that in the book, during the honeymoon, Bella ate eggs non stop even to the point of filling up the bin with cartons. I have also seen still shots with her eating eggs but I can only remember her eat the chicken in the movie. And I am sure the ending has Bella in a short red dress when she is suppose to be wearing a long tight ice blue silk cocktail dress that Alice dressed her in - it is one of my favourite parts of the book - The first time Bella has to jump the stream, she rips the dress up to the top of her thigh. I suppose the red dress will go with her eyes he he he...