Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

CAST: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison, Taylor Lautner; DIRECTION: Bill Condon; SCREENPLAY: Melissa Rosenberg; STORY: Stephanie Meyer; CINEMATOGRAPHY: Guillermo Navarro; EDITING: Virginia Katz; PRODUCER: Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt, Stephanie Meyer; MUSIC: Cartner Burwell; LOCATION: Seatle / Brazil; GENRE: Drama Fantasy; DISTRIBUTOR: Summit Entertainment; RUNNING TIME: 153 minutes

Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment     : 3.5
Cinema Rating          : For viewers 14 years old

Breaking Dawn stays true to the novel and brings it to life with such intensity. The movie centers on Edward (Robert Pattison) and Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) first year’s marriage. After a dreamy wedding and honeymoon, the newly wed face the horror of Bella’s unexpected pregnancy. Unknowing what the unborn child will become, Edward decides to have the pregnancy terminate but Bella, whose motherly instincts have awakened, clings on to her child with the help of Rosalie (Nikki Reed), the only Cullen member who prefers her mortality. Bella’s pregnancy has compromised her health and nutrition much to the consternation of Jacob (Taylor Lautner). But these are not the only issues the Cullens must deal with since Sam (Chaske Spencer) has decided that Bella’s child is more of a treat to humanity and ordered his pack to attack the Cullens.
Breaking Dawn offers several breathe taking sequences: the wedding which is staged with such subtle class and poetic romance; the scenic landscapes of Isle Esme and even the Cullen’s house. One of the best scenes interpreting the book is when Jacob refuses to succumb to Sam and finally finds his Alpha voice. Storywise, it does stay true to Meyer’s work and incorporates as much details as possible.  Sadly though, it lacks the factor which made Twilight, both the novel and at least the 1st and 3rd movies. For one, it had too much songs and MTV-moments for a vampire movie. Edward ‘s character lost its mystery and the conflict did not have the same intensity to deliver the needed suspense. The original indie feel was lost as it transformed into a glossy run-of-the-mill love story. Technically, Breaking Dawn delivers - with magnificent CGI effects used in Bella’s deteriorating physique, better acting from Stewart and Laurent and good editing. Still, as segue to the conclusion of the Twilight Saga, it falls short of expectations.
Breaking Dawn brings strong messages on anti-abortion, marriage and family.
We see how Bella fights for the life of her unborn child despite the circumstances that dictates otherwise. How often do woman find themselves in the same predicament and readily succumb to abortion at the first sign of physical, emotional, social and financial discomfort or difficulty. Bella’s determination and sacrifice serves as an inspiration for mothers-to-be having apprehensions on their pregnancy.
Family bonds are highly valued and respected in the film - the Cullens take care of each other while the Quileute tribe fight side by side to protect their people.  The importance of family is mentioned several times in the dialogue.
And finally, Breaking Dawn can be commended for putting premium on the sanctity of marriage and its consummation. The marriage act sequences are intense but not graphic. Although It could have been shortened as most viewers would have already read the book and are familiar with the events.
Because of certain themes and delicate scenes in the story, the movie is better recommended for older teenagers with adult guidance.