|The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011).|
Pretty much everybody knows about the Twilight saga, and here we are approaching the tail end of the film franchise with "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" (2011). This is installment 4 of 5, and it is approaching its climax. Based on the popular series of books written by Stephenie Meyer, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" chronicles the continuing adventures of Bella Cullen (Kristen Stewart), an awkward high school girl looking for love. As the song goes, Bella finds love in all the wrong places, namely among vampires. Everything in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" seems to work out for Bella anyway, though, in that special fantasyland that defines romance novel scenarios.
Bella's man/vampire in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" is Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who has the appearance of a hunky contemporary, but in fact is a hundred or so years old. After many adventures, they hook up. Bella is besotted with him, and they set up house together against all the odds.
In this installment, the Quileutes (another vampire tribe that doesn't like Bella and Edward) close in on expecting parents. Their unborn child apparently poses a threat to their Wolf Pack (this reflects another romance-land conceit, where a lovechild is the center of the universe that everyone cares about and will change the world).
|Vampires tend to have bad skin tone in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."|
The conventional approach to this sort of affair would be to show Bella's struggles with other people trying to destroy her relationship. Not so fast, partner. Author Meyer takes a slightly different approach.
Bella and Edward are to marry, and this is a Big Deal. Jacob (hunky Taylor Lautner) becomes upset when he learns that Bella is planning to consummate the marriage on her honeymoon because he has a thing for her, too. The wedding over, Bella and Edward spend their honeymoon on an idyllic private island - this is a romance novel, after all. But, to their dismay, Bella and Edward discover that Bella is pregnant. The fetus is growing at an accelerated rate and everyone fears for Bella's safety. Will she go ahead with her pregnancy, whatever the cost? The Quileutes close in to stifle this unborn threat to the Wolf Pack and the townspeople of Forks.
|Kristen Stewart is the focus of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."|
This is a romance for girls. I know that sounds terrible, as if I am (look of horror) labeling this a "chick flick," but that is the point of view, and that is how it plays out. Boys and men can certainly enjoy it, and many do. However, the main draw is with females, many of whom are irresistibly drawn to the bad-boy love of Bella and how wonderfully her vampire, Edward, is portrayed. The series latches on to a deep yearning among unfulfilled girls and women who fear men, yet are drawn to them and need them. Edward fills that role perfectly. If you are a guy, and you aren't being dragged to this by your woman, well, just make sure that you know what you are getting into.
|Does this picture melt your heart? If so, consider seeing "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."|
Being a bit blunter, the point is that men are portrayed as inherently dangerous and deadly. That is your tipoff that this is a film for girls, for whom men are big, bad and scary. Ultimately, Bella decides that taking the plunge and melding with a man... well, a vampire... is what one simply must do. Despite the problems, the theme goes, is worth it for the end result. That's an inherently positive message, in a backhanded and fairly contemptuous kind of way.
It is fashionable to deride these "Twilight" films, then go home and watch them anyway because they are such junk food, so comfortable if ultimately silly. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 "pretends to be one step above the romance novels in the bookstore, the ones with Fabio on the cover. It may even be one step below them in terms of making sense, what it doesn't matter, people like this stuff. Grown women will work through the day at their horrible jobs, then run home and enjoy a little Bella. People who never read a book since grade school devoured the entire series. Whenever Meyer came out with one of her novels, stores around the world had to set up special tables at the front of the store to meet the demand. There's magic in that kind of appeal, and it has nothing to do with vampires besides writing about them. In short: the formula works.
One could get pedantic and say that Bella is a bad role model for girls, or that this is all silly nonsense, that Edward is virtually a pedophile or poser because he really isn't a young man at all, and this and that. Or that Kristen Stewart's personal life - which has an air of scandal - might make the series less appealing. Hogwash. That attitude gets you nowhere. If you don't like the premise of the saga, don't watch it. This is fantasy time for women, and they deserve it, because most Hollywood films are oriented in other directions.
Let me take a quick stab at figuring out what really is going on with "Twilight." I'm sure you have your own views, but another viewpoint may interest you. Twilight is all about strong female who make their own choices. The men are all secondary, in fairly stereotypical roles. It is the women, like vampire Trina in the upcoming Part II conclusion (?) to the saga, who set things in motion. The men are only there to be objects of lust, or to carry out the dark desires of the females around them. In a way, that makes this like a TV soap opera. That a family and a baby eventually become the foundation of the plot should make perfect sense to anyone who follows such things and understands the thinking. Therefore, claiming that "Twilight" is bad for girls is completely wrong-headed, because it is designed for girls and gives them what they want.
If you like the books, you'll like this. Every female I know likes this series, and they read novels and watch the films and love every second of it. Very few guys I know will admit to liking this at all. If you like Nascar and the Lingerie Football League, you probably won't like "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" much. However, if you read and enjoy romance novels and/or find something sexy about vampires, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" is for you. Other than that, you're on your own. In any event, you probably would be better off watching the previous installments in the saga before you watch this one.