Movie Review: Breaking Dawn Part One

When I was thirteen, I adored Twilight. I was an absolutely over-the-top obsessed fangirl who lived and breathed Edward and Bella. And then one day I woke up and realised the series was actually kind of terrible. I turned from twi-hard to twi-hater almost overnight, and for the last three years I have made fun of it at every possible chance.

That said, after being so in love with something, you feel a bit of a connection to it – even in hatred – so when Breaking Dawn Part One was finally released earlier this week, there was a part of me that just had to go. I decided the best way to go about the embarrassing experience would be to look at it from a curious viewpoint, rather than a critically judgmental one. I went in with a plan to examine the reactions of the twelve year olds and to just look at the film through the eyes of someone interested in the amazing hype that surrounds the series. So that’s what I did. 

I’m going to start by saying I didn’t actually hate the movie. The opening section – I’m not sure how long it went for but it would have been the first half hour or forty-five minutes – was actually really enjoyable. The wedding was beautiful, the ceremony was hilarious, and there was a part of me that was able to remember just why it had gained my love so easily back in year seven. Things, of course, took a turn for the worse once she got pregnant, and the film was a bloody slope of downhill until Edward ripped the demon baby out with his teeth and Jacob decided he was in love with it. That part of the film was quite possibly one of the worst in cinematic history. 

But remember, I said I was looking at this as a curious social spectator, so I stopped myself judging what I was seeing on the screen and began to look around the cinema. There were twelve-year-olds sobbing, and others staring at the screen with wide-eyed expressions and whispering to their friends “I want a love like that”. It brought me back to my initial reactions to the series, and my thoughts on it post-twihard phase. Just like it was all too easy to get caught up in the love Edward and Bella shared, and to be able to imagine yourself as Bella and dream of the day you get your own perfect guy, it’s also too easy to look at it from an overly critical perspective. Yes, it’s rather terribly written, and yes, there are some creepily abusive aspects to their relationship, but we’re not really achieving anything by standing around and declaring “HE STOLE THE MOTOR FROM HER CAR”. Twilight is a phenomenon, the kind that is very rarely seen or rivalled, and no matter how much we may find it flawed, it has to at least have levels of decency to be this successful. Even if we don’t agree with anything Stephenie Meyer wrote, her combination of character and idea made something magical, and it has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people, from pre-teens to fifty-somethings. 
I’m doing my Extension Two English Major Work on Harry Potter (well, The Hero in Myth – Harry Potter and Modern Mythology) and while researching topics and existing works, it interested me to discover that for every positive review or analysis, there was a negative one.  As a Potterhead, it’s simple for me to dismiss such ideas as “insane”, but for Twihards, my views on their love must seem just as crazy. When you love something, you’re blinded to the negatives and criticisms of it, because you’re too involved. Just like when you hate something, you’re blinded to the positives of it. Sometimes I think we all need to learn to find a nice grey area and be able to appreciate both sides of every story. 

After the movie finished, I was waiting in the lobby for my brother and I began eavesdropping on some of my fellow Breaking-Dawn viewers. The response from them was almost overwhelmingly positive. They felt the film had done the book justice, and I have to agree with them. The book was terrible, the idea was terrible, but the film did the best with what it was given (blood drinking from a milkshake cup and all) and made a decent, if not drawn out, adaptation. 

I’m glad I went to see it, mainly because it’s one of those cultural things that you can say you’ve been to and in ten years when someone says, “remember when everyone was obsessed with that Twilight thing?” you can laugh and admit you saw them all in the cinema. I’m also glad I saw it because it has made me question my black-and-white views of the massive hype surrounding the saga. It’s an interesting topic – as obsessions and fandom in general are – and I think we all need to learn to be a bit more open to other people’s views. At the end of the day, who are we to say our views and opinions are any more valid than the twelve year old’s sitting next to us at the cinema? 

Breaking Dawn is in cinemas everywhere now. 

frangipani princess xoxo

One thought on “Movie Review: Breaking Dawn Part One

  1. Thanks for a positive review! It annoys me how many people knock down the saga, constantly saying how terrible it is. At the end of the day it appeals to a lot of people, and can be accepted as a guilty pleasure, without the need to be consistently, and overtly critical.

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