Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner return for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, the first episode of the final chapter of the vampire-romance saga that gives birth to a new supernatural species.
With more aspects of horror than any of the other films, the fourth installment of the series exploring the love triangle between Bella (Stewart), Edward (Pattinson) and Jacob (Lautner) is violent, bloody and sometimes tough to watch. But if you are in any way a fan of this multi-million dollar franchise based on the books by Stephenie Meyer, this is one movie you do not want to miss.
Bella gets everything she ever wanted. And so does the audience.
Edward and Bella have a gorgeous wedding ceremony in a forest draped in white flowers surrounded by their family and friends. Bella's dress is long, traditional and inspired by Victorian designs with lace and long sleeves. She wears a simple veil, and her human parents try to make the best of it that their daughter is now off to another way of life.
The vampire-human couple share traditional vows. Their love is solid; the audience feels it. Edward is an adoring husband, the honeymoon is romantic and everlasting love is inevitable between these two despite their obvious differences -- she's alive and he's dead.
But that's only the beginning of Bella's life in her new vampire family. Just as she becomes a bride, she quickly discovers she'll soon be a mother, too.
Stewart has mastered the art of playing a human caught in a world of shocking supernatural delights that only those in the inner circle would truly know. A human can't get pregnant with a vampire's baby, or so it has never been successfully done. But Bella doesn't care. A new wife and now soon-to-be mother, she's confronted with the choice many women have to make: Should I keep this baby even though it may not be right for me?
The filming style is more intimate than the others; the audience spends more time with the characters, getting deeper into their thoughts. The director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Gods and Monsters) takes his time with Bella's decisions, pondering what a scared 18 year old might think about all these life changing events happening at once. Intense is only one word to describe it.
The audience gets to experience Jacob when he's in wolf-mode, running through the forest in a heightened sense of passion, hearing bits of dialogue and being wildly lost, almost getting hit by a car. We go back in time with Edward to see what he was like when he became a "newborn," the term they use to describe freshly-transformed vampires. The music is edgier, a bit darker, but it fits the somber tone of what is basically a story about the death of innocence. And man, is it bloody, too.
If you missed all the neck-chomping gore that vampire movies typically provide, you'll get your fix in Breaking Dawn. The birth scene is particularly horrific, even though this film is pinned as a romance. The love triangle isn't as prevalent now that Bella's life is on the line. But that might not matter to diehard fans who have been waiting half a decade to see their heroine finally transform.
Breaking Dawn is a must-see for any Twilight fan, but be sure to stay until the bitter end, there's a post-credit surprise. As you hoped, the saga is not yet over.
Bottom line: If you're a Twi-hard fan, Breaking Dawn has everything you've been waiting for -- a wedding, honeymoon, baby and a new kind of vampire -- Bella.
Photos courtesy: Summit Entertainment
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