My fellow Twilighters, Breaking Dawn is finally here and I've got much to say. We know everything comes into fruition in Breaking Dawn: the wedding, the dress, the honeymoon, the music, the pregnancy, Bella's makeup, the horrible hair of Carlisle Cullen and yes, Jacob imprints—finally! With such great material and a sublime director as Bill Condon (think Dreamgirls) Breaking Dawn is the most anticipated movie of our favorite series. And after waiting over a year and a half for the new Twilight film, was it worth it? I say yes and give it 8/10 stars! Here's why:
First off we see a bit of Eclipse overlapping into Breaking Dawn with Jacob running away from the wedding invitation of Bella and Edward. I was anxiously waiting for the "telling Charlie scene," but it never came. It would have been hilarious to see both Bella and Edward—especially Edward—asking Charlie for Bella's hand in marriage, but the movie skips straight to Bella trying on her wedding shoes and packing up her room, leaving her old life behind.
We get a glimpse into Edward's blood drinking past which was a surprise to us. Edward with red eyes! Yes, he was like that once upon a time. The bachelor party came next but we never actually saw the scene, which was a huge disappointment. Of course we Twilight fans want to see exactly what happens at a vampire bachelor party. And then there was a eerie scene of Bella having a Volturian nightmare of her family and friends bloodied and dead by her feet at her wedding. It could have been avoided and another scene could have been placed instead! Maybe it's just me.
But the wedding! We Twilight fans have been waiting for this moment since Edward brought it up in New Moon. We couldn't wait to see the most talked-about dress of the year! I wasn't too much of a fan of the front of her dress, but as usual Kristen Stewart pulls it off. Loved the lace linen on the back of her dress, though. The wedding was touching—Bella was a nervous wreck up until she sees Edward in that tux! The eye contact she gives him solidifies that this is the right choice. We in the audience felt it, too.
As "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron & Wine (which was Bella and Edward's first dance song in Twilight) plays in the background during their "I do's," there's a moment when they kiss and the whole world disappears—literally. I really wish that Bella would have cried like she did in the book because she was overwhelmed. The wedding toasts from Charlie, Renee and Jessica were hilarious. Especially with Charlie stating he knows Edward will be a great husband because he's a cop who knows how to use a gun, unaware that a gun wouldn't do much damage to Edward.
Jacob attends the wedding reception, surprising Bella. It was a cute best friend scene to watch It was so similar to the book, it was perfect. The moment is ruined by Jacob being angry over Bella having a real honeymoon with her vampire husband. The scene was so perfectly filmed and Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner's emotions were so raw.
The honeymoon is set in Brazil on Isle Esme, an island Carlisle gave to his wife. Yes, an island. We first got a glimpse of the island back in February and couldn't wait to see where Bella and Edward will be first having sex! While getting there, Edward and Bella are touchy in the taxi cab—loved the hand holding as they walk the busy streets of Rio. Isle Esme is beautiful. Edward goes out for a swim and Bella is panicking in the bathroom while getting ready to meet Edward in the water. Once again, the words are taken directly from the book: "You're so beautiful," Edward says to Bella after she joins Edward in the water and the sex scene starts from there to the bed.
Was I the only one who expected more movements from the sex scene?! We got just a little glimpse, but not the view we all desperately wanted. Broken headboard and feathers in the same night? Soooo didn't happen in the book. It was feathers first night, then broken headboard after Bella seduces Edward in her black lingerie. Was I the only one that loved when Bella came out in her lingerie and Edward laughs into his pillow? Bella wakes up with feathers and bruises just like the book, and Edward is pissed. I loved this scene because Robert Pattinson played it perfectly with his face full of anguish and regret. They then explore the island as a happy couple. It was so refreshing seeing them so carefree with no worries of the Volturi, no new newborns, no Jacob to cause havoc for E&B. But, Edward doesn't sparkle! They're in Brazil and he sparkles only when on top of the waterfall, that's it! Mistake.
Bella then finds out she's pregnant. Which happened so fast. She eats chicken and vomits once, and she immediately searches for her bag and finds unused tampons. Wish they had followed the book with this scene a little more. Edward was not there for her first vomit session. I loathe the way Bella said ,"I think I'm pregnant"—it sounded forced and a bit juvenile. When the horrific line of "morte," aka death, is said to Bella and Edward about their current situation, it's pretty much literally like the book. The phone call to Rosalie starts the chaos. I loved the airport scene back to Forks when the two are tense and sitting silently in a taxi cab. It didn't happen that way in the book, but the scene still spoke volumes.
Then we see Bella in her horrid state. I love the make-up. They did an excellent job with the sunken cheeks and battered stomach. Best makeup job so far I've seen in all of the films. While reading Breaking Dawn, I prayed that they got her sickly state right and it was—I wanted to see a drained, pale Bella and that's exactly what we got. Unlike Carlisle's hair. What was the hairstylist thinking? Have they not seen his hair in Twilight, which to me was his best hairstyle in the series?
The scene that I was and wasn't looking forward to was when Edward begs Jacob to talk Bella out of continuing the pregnancy and to have a baby with Jacob instead. For us team Edwardians we were in shock and furious that Edward would ask such a thing from Jacob, but it only showed how much he would rather Bella be alive and well then not to exist at all. But it never happened in the movie! Is Bill more Team Edward or what?
After getting word that Bella is pregnant with an unknown creature, Sam demands that they destroy it—in wolf form. Yes, wolf form. We never really get into the minds of the wolves and how they communicate until Breaking Dawn, and it was the cheesiest scene I've seen so far in the entire series. The CGI wolves all communicate at once in kind of a Transformers-meets-Twilight scene. The whole scene where Jacob stands up to Sam had me disappointed and embarrassed. It was a good try to be creative, but it failed. Maybe it was the voices changing. The scene would have been equally gratifying if they weren't in wolf form, just like the book. It made me look away from the screen for a bit.
And I'm not too fond of the score. I know Carter Burwell was the one who created "Bella's Lullaby," but other than that the music didn't flow with the movie. It seemed that the same song was played throughout Breaking Dawn, no matter what the mood. Now, that's a bad sign. I'm usually one to listen to the soundtrack after I see the movie, so I could visually place which song was chosen for a specific scene. I could listen to the Eclipse score and know exactly what scene the song was in. But even after seeing Breaking Dawn more than three times, I still find it hard to place songs into the movie. Maybe I need to give it time? The only song that so far has jumped from the movie is "Cold," when the Cullens wait for an attack from Sam's pack—it's completely the appropriate song just for the scene. It reminds me of "Rosalie" in Eclipse—such a mood setter.
Bella drinking blood was one of the scenes that I couldn't wait to see, and it didn't disappoint. We all know that Bella has a distaste for the sight and smell of blood, so for her to drink it would show how desperate the situation was. And when Edward finally tells Bella what she's doing is completely selfish and he can't live without her, Bella then tells Edward that he'll have a part of her when she dies and he has to accept what is. "You've given me no choice," retorts Edward. I remember seeing this scene during a trailer for the movie and thinking, "Wow, did Edward just scream at Bella?!" Finally! He's at a point where he realizes that he can—and will—lose Bella if she goes through with the pregnancy, and he has absolutely no control over the situation.
I loved the scene when Edward loves the baby. Bella thinks she's the only one other than Rosalie that loves the baby until Edward hears its thoughts. He realizes that he has a completely wrong view of what Bella is carrying. It's a baby, Edward realizes—for all this time, he's been loathing something that was more Bella then him. When they both touch her stomach and Edward kisses, it you feel so relieved for both of them. Thank the TwiGods Edward can read minds.
The birth scene is pretty subdued compared to the book. Bella did not throw up blood and nor did we see the c-section, which may be a good thing. I like the fact that we saw it through Bella's vision, but yet we knew what was going on. I think this scene propelled Rob, Taylor and especially Kristen into a completely different level of acting. This was the best acting from all three. Edward's face is in awe when he first sees the baby. Jacob's face is furious when Bella stops breathing. But most of all, there's Kristen's ability to hold her breath. In the words of Bill Condon, "She can play dead." Kristen held her breath for over two minutes, he said. Edward's panic when the venom isn't working had me at the tip of my seat. When he keeps trying to revive Bella and receives no response, I was scared to death. Even after reading the books multiples of times, I was still holding my own breath.
But, big mistake: Jacob looks at the baby during this scene, which in the book he never does because he thinks it's a demon and thinks it should be killed. If that is the case, he should have imprinted on the baby the moment he laid eyes on her after the delivery. But I loved Jacob falling onto one knee because he has finally found his soulmate in Edward and Bella's daughter.
I'm also liking the whole view of the venom fixing Bella's broken and bloodied body. Watching someone transform into a vampire with our very own eyes has never been shown in any of the Twilight films with Edward or anyone. And as her body silently says goodbye to being a human, her mind goes down through memory lane—a real treat for us. I didn't realize how much Bella, Edward and even Jacob have been through in the last three movies.
I loved the fact that Breaking Dawn was depicted from the actual book. More or less the majority of the key lines were in the movie. Some scenes I wish were there, of course. And there were no Rosalie dumb blonde jokes, which would have added to the comedy. Overall, Breaking Dawn lives up to my anticipation. Finally, a director who gets that it's not the movies that made Twilight successful—it's the books. Can I say I love Bill Condon?!
Absolutely cannot wait for Breaking Dawn - Part 2 to be released next year. We see the betrayal of the Denali sister Irina, more new vamps, the Volturi versus Cullens & co. showdown, Bella ripping a new one into Jacob after finding out about his imprinting, and most importantly, Renesmee as a newborn. Can November 16, 2012 be here already?
*Spoiler* If you're Team Volturi, stay after the credits!