Monday, 10 December 2012
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)
“I won’t kill you. That’d be too easy. You deserve to live with this.”
The film begins with a lot of wedding stuff, and feels like one of those comic books where one of the protagonists gets married: light, fluffy and full of crap humour. It’s all extremely well shot, though, with some extraordinary touches. There’s some nice switching between monochrome and colour, and the dream sequence with the rose petals looks extraordinary. Still, Bella is marrying Edward, and I’m bloody worried about her. A potential lifetime of abuse awaits.
Alarm bells start sounding very soon; Bella is not to become a vampire until after the honeymoon. Sex is dangerous, so anything before this happens could kill her. And it’s not as though they’re not going to have sex on their honeymoon, however much Edward tries to arrange their time to avoid it. I don’t care how uber-cool their honeymoon suite is: this is a stupid situation which the characters just seem to walk into. Surprise surprise, Bella becomes pregnant: I assume vampires don’t do contraception as it cramps their style. Surprise surprise: the child is not exactly all human, and could kill her. Edward is personally responsible for all of this easily avoided near-tragedy. How on Earth are we, the audience, supposed not to hate the bastard?
And what are we supposed to conclude/ That all sex, even good Christian married sex, is bad, dangerous and to be avoided? That is NOT a good message. And, yes, the issue of abortion rears its head. These films are getting more and more right-wing.
The ending is tiresomely predictable: Bella gives birth, “dies” and, to no one’s surprise, is about to become a vampire in the last shot. And I don’t like all this stuff about Jake imprinting on the baby either: essentially this is just taking a character who disagrees with the authorial viewpoint and making him conform. It’s crude and nasty.
I have to emphasise, though, that although I really, really hate the subtext of these films, they’re increasingly well made as they progress. His film looks gorgeous, and even the CGI for the wolves looks good. It’s just a shame that the central message is so wrong and dangerous.