Review: Breaking Dawn-Part 1

Jess Stewart 4 December 2011

Breaking Dawn-Part 1

Bill Condon – 12A – 108 mins


Let me start by saying this: I’m a big fan of the Twilight saga. I’ve read the books, I’ve watched the films and, somewhat shamefully, I’ve enjoyed them both. Yes, they are ridiculous. But they’re also heaps of fun, and I’m never afraid to admit a guilty pleasure. But, as readers of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn may have predicted, this most recent film is just a little too absurd for its own good.

The film opens in the middle of preparations for Edward and Bella’s wedding, and director Bill Condon handles these scenes surprisingly well. Despite a predictably angry Jacob threatening to ruin the affair, all goes smoothly, and Edward whisks his bride away to a honeymoon on his family’s private island. Here, the long-awaited sex scenes finally take place. But here’s where things get silly – it was fine in the book when Edward broke the bed with his sheer demonic sex-drive, but in the films it elicits more of a giggle than anything else.

Things get more complicated when Bella and Edward realise that vampires aren’t quite as infertile as one would assume. Yes, Bella gets pregnant, but with a mysterious super-foetus that starts destroying her from the inside out.

This book was always going to be difficult to film, and we can see how Condon struggles with his material. As Bella gets more and more emaciated, we build up to the scenes of Bella’s labour with increasing horror. The films, up until now, have been silly for their disgusting but wholly engrossing lovesickness. Now, it’s simply plain disgusting, as Bella becomes a skeletal corpse and a baby gets ripped out of her stomach. Still, the same reasoning applies – ridiculous, but heaps of fun. Even if you come out laughing for all the wrong reasons.

Jess Stewart