Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Film Review: Breaking Dawn Part 1

About the film
Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is the fourth film in the Twilight Saga. It was released at cinemas on 18th November 2011. It is rated 12A due to scenes of a fantasy/ frightening nature as well as scenes of partial nudity and violence. The film has a run time of 117 minutes. 

The film opens with Jacob Black receiving an invitation to Edward and Bella's wedding which results in him running off in wolf form, even after his father begs him to stay. At the other end of the spectrum, Bella's mother couldn't be happier when she receives her invitation. Reactions to the upcoming wedding are extremely mixed. The whole Cullen family, however, couldn't be happier at the thought of Bella joining their family and they're all extremely busy preparing for the big day.

What I thought
Even though I am a massive fan of YA books, I am not the biggest fan of Twilight. However, I was when the first film came out and since have been to see each of them within a week of opening. I really, really liked the first two films in the Saga but Eclipse was terrible in my eyes. Because of this, I was quite worried about seeing Breaking Dawn: Part 1 as I didn't think I was going to like it much at all.

Something I definitely wasn't expecting from this film was for it to be as funny as it was. Yes, there have been a couple of laughs in the previous three but nothing even close to how much I laughed through Breaking Dawn. Within the first 10/15 minutes or so, I had laughed quite a few times at numerous things but the real joy came at Bella and Edward's wedding. The speeches were hilarious and one of my favourites has to be from Anna Kendrick who plays Bella's friend Jessica. I have liked her in all of the films so far and thought she should have been used even more during these scenes. Her speech was fantastic and exactly how her character would have said things. The humour used early on in the film was much needed, I thought, as the story does get a lot darker part way through.

I haven't been a fan of Kristen Stewart at all from the very first time she appeared on our screens as Bella Swan. She certainly wasn't how I pictured Bella but now, I can quite happily say that she isn't as bad as she was. Now, I'm not saying she was fantastic in Breaking Dawn but I didn't want to slap her in the face as much as I have wanted to before. After three films, Stewart has had the chance to really get into her role as Bella and to know the character much better than she did to begin with. Her acting skills in Breaking Dawn have come on leaps and bounds compared to how she was in Twilight. Gone is the completely miserable girl who sighs a lot at everything that is said or done and instead, there is now a quite happy girl in her place. I would hope so though considering she has just married the man she loves. However, during the second half of the film, Bella's character changes completely considering that she's having a baby that is pretty much killing her. Here, I thought Stewart did a fantastic job. She looked terrible (and yes miserable but that's ok) and did a really good job of showing everything that was happening to her because of the baby. It was really quite scary how skeletal she looked all of the second half of the film.

The chemistry between Stewart and Pattinson was much more believable this time around and I think a lot of that was due to the wedding and them having to look all loved up. The sex scene between the two had to be cut down a lot as to start with, it made the film into an 18 rating rather than the 12A it is now. Because of this though, the scenes do lack a bit of passion but understandably so. This scene does stay as close to the book as possible though in the way that Edward breaks the bed and because there are feathers everywhere afterwards. Overall, it was just a bit too tame for my liking but it was also intimate at the same time.

One of my biggest disappointments with Breaking Dawn: Part 1 was the wolves. After realising that Bella and Edward are actually going to get married, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) run away in his wolf form. This is really a big part of the book and why he runs away but the film made it seem as though he ran away one day and was back the next for Bella's wedding and that isn't really how it happened. Also, the plot line concerning Jacob, Seth and Leah was cut severely short and I really liked this part of the book. During this film, we get to witness the way that the wolves can talk to each other once they have transformed but it was laughable to watch. The voices were changed and it all sounded really pathetic and forced. This was really thrown in there just because it happens in the book and wasn't done well at all. It might have been a bit better had it been used a couple more times so that the audience really got the fact that it is what makes a pack so close.

So, as you can see, Breaking Dawn: Part 1 was far from perfect for me. I really did love the first half of the film but the second half was terrible. I am really looking forward to Part 2 though as a lot more happens and I think it will be extremely exciting.

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