Bella (Kristen Stewart) gets married to vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson). Werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is angry but returns when he finds that Bella is pregnant and might die in the pregnancy. Find out more in the review of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.
Business rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Star Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner.
What’s Good: The mushy romance and lovemaking, which will appeal to the teenage girls; the second half.
What’s Bad: The unanswered questions in the audience’s minds; the average performances; the subject and treatment of the script, which will appeal only to a section of the audience while boring others.
Verdict: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is an above-average fare which will work because of the brand and due to patronage by the loyal audience.
Loo break: A couple.
Watch or Not?: A good watch for fans of mushy romantic films and for fans of the Twilight franchise.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is a sequel in the Twlilight series, which comprises films based on a love triangle between the young human, Bella (Kristen Stewart), angry werewolf, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), and the charming vampire, Edward (Robert Pattinson).
After the werewolves and vampires reach a truce, and Bella and Edward announce their marriage, a jilted Jacob disappears for a long time, only to come back during Bella’s wedding. Bella is very happy to see her dear and old friend, but Jacob is petrified and angry when he learns that Bella will not turn into a vampire after marriage, as was the plan, but instead spend her honeymoon with Edward as a human being only. However, Jacob’s wolf-pack takes him away before there can be a conflagration.
Bella is mildly surprised when Edward takes her to a beautiful private island off Rio in South America for their honeymoon. The couple spends many amorous nights in each other’s arms and they even consummate their marriage after both, Edward and Bella, get rid of their apprehensions about making love. In no time, however, Bella is pregnant. Neither Edward nor his vampire family can guess how a vampire (a corpse) can give birth to a child, even as the couple returns home. Progressively, Bella gets worse and thinner as the foetus, which is clearly not human, grows and consumes her insides.
When Jacob learns of Bella’s condition, he wants her to abort the baby, as does Edward and everybody else. But Bella wants to have the baby at any cost, even though she runs the risk of losing her life. In the meanwhile, the wolf-pack, which Jacob has abandoned, decides to kill Bella and the baby as it violates the terms of the vampire-werewolf truce. What happens next? Is Bella able to deliver the baby safely? Is Jacob able to save Bella from the attackers? What role does Edward play in this? The rest of the film and the climax answer these questions.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Review: Script Analysis
Melissa Rosenberg’s screenplay, based on the novel, Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer, continues doing what the earlier films had done – serving mushy, emotional moments to love-struck teenagers. For the rest of the above-25 population, especially male, the film’s narrative holds little appeal, save a few lovemaking scenes. The girls in the audience will be delighted by the well-executed sequences of Bella’s wedding and honeymoon that take up most of the first half of the film. They will also like Bella’s pre-wedding jitters, as also her nervousness during the honeymoon. The romantic track of Bella and Edward, will, of course, be liked a lot by this section of the audience.
For the rest of the audience, however, the latter half will make much more sense, when, for the first time, some conflict is introduced in the narrative. The confrontations between Edward and Jacob, a highlight of the previous Twilight films, are missing here. Instead, the audience is served with a tense set of characters, who deliberate over the fate of Bella and her baby. A few confrontations between the vampires and werewolves lend scope for some action. That’s not enough to thrill the men, though. The disinterested among the audience will have several unanswered questions in their minds – why does Jacob leave in such a rush, only to conveniently return a few days back? How is nobody able to find out how a dead vampire and a human could breed? What happens in the climax, when Jacob ‘imprints’ on somebody? Why are the vampires and the werewolves so docile most of the time? Why do the vampires take so much time to come up with a solution to save Bella, when it is obvious to the audience?
The climax, which, among other things, depicts the dramatic and gory scenes of Bella’s delivery, is well-executed. However, a few scenes during delivery might put off a section of the audience. Moreover, the fact that Bella, a human, drinks blood to save her life might seem jarring to some.
All in all, the script holds appeal primarily for its intended target audience – teenage girls, women and fans of the franchise. Some of them might complain that the movie doesn’t do justice to the book, but that’s always the case with films that are book adaptations. For the rest, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 might be a painful, albeit unintentionally funny, experience.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Review: Star Performances
The performances are alright. Kristen Stewart, whose claim to fame is the Twilight series, looks wonderfully sexy and sick, as the narrative requires her to in quick succession. She acts ably. Robert Pattinson gives a restrained performance. However, he looks disinterested in a few crucial scenes. Kristen and Robert make a sizzling couple in the extended lovemaking scenes. Robert Lautner hisses and puffs to make himself look angry enough. Billy Burke (as Bella’s father) delivers the only realistic performance. The others offer average support.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Bill Condon’s direction is suited to the kind of script he has. He makes the wedding and honeymoon scenes seem mushy enough and the latter half dramatic enough to keep the audience engaged. However, it is difficult to imagine that he is the same guy who gave us Kinsey (2004). Carter Burwell’s background score is appropriate. Guillermo Navarro’s cinematography is of a good standard. Editing, by Virginia Katz, is alright.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Review: The Last Word
On the whole, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 will work in the Indian metros for the target audience. The ‘A’ (Adult) certificate it has received in India might make a small dent in the otherwise good box-office business that it will do here.