Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Art & Culture

Many critics have been very harsh on this film, but it seems to me it's unfair to criticise it for being something that it's not pretending to be. This is not a serious romantic drama; it's teenage Mills & Boon, a fantasy film for girls about choosing between two hunky men who have superpowers, both of whom will die for you.

Now we all know by now that Bella has definitively settled on Edward the Vampire over Jake The Wolf, and the first half hour of the film is given over to preprarations for their wedding, and the wedding itself. The next half hour is taken up with the honeymoon – and the last hour by the consequences of having unprotected sex on your honeymoon, especially when the bridegroom is a member of the Undead (as opposed to The Grateful Dead).

In other words, it's marriage, bliss, pregnancy and the consequent crisis in the uneasy wolf/vampire relationship. Nothing happens for two hours apart from a messy, inconclusive and unconvincing scuffle between the hairy four legged lot, and the blood sucking two legged lot. Oh yes, and Bella tries to impersonate Mia Farrow is Rosemary's Baby, gathering gaunt makeup as she goes. But as I say, this is not a criticism. It is what it is, and I assume box office figures next week will reveal that many younger (and probably older) women will flock to every screening, and sit there happily basking in the silliness.

In fact there's a case to be made for the whole thing being an extended and intentional spoof, and this is probably the spoofiest of all, with dialogue you could use for a ploughman's lunch, and still have cheese on toast afterwards. I retain a lingering admiration for Sigourney Weaver's Mini M, aka Kristen Stewart, who by comparison with Taylor Lautner, seems like Meryl Streep. As for Robert Pattinson, he hasn't quite mastered the difference between an uneasy leer, and a cheerful, happy smile. He should work on the lopsided grin. Take lessons from Harrison Ford, perhaps.

And don't forget that just as HP 7.1 was a precursor to the recent Harry Potter showdown, so this is merely cinematic foreplay to the climactic events in the world of Bella and co in 12 months time. Can I wait?


Phil Raby

Front Row Films

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