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MOVIE REVIEW: Breaking Dawn Part One
"Dreamy, swoony, satisfying," says SPOT.ph movie reviewer Paul Daza, and "the most exquisitely photographed Twilight movie yet."
By: Paul Daza  |   Published on: Nov 19, 2011 - 3:32pm


 

Following the action-packed “allegro” that was The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the penultimate movie in the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One, feels like the slower, second movement of a symphony, its “andante.” And what a dreamy, swoony second movement it is. With  Oscar-nominated director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) calling the shots, Breaking Dawn Part One turns emerges as another satisfying installment in the supernatural soap opera that has captivated teens and tweens worldwide.

 

If Eclipse was all about the high drama involving revenge and alliances that finally prompted vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) to ask mortal sweetheart Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) to marry him, then Breaking Dawn Part One is about slowing down and allowing the couple to savor their relationship. The film shows them getting married, enjoying their honeymoon, and dealing with a confounding pregnancy. The story is that simple.

 

With not much plot and time-consuming exposition to feed the audience, director Bill Condon lavishes attention on his polished visuals, making this the most exquisitely photographed Twilight movie yet. There’s a mesmerizing dream sequence involving the soon to be married couple that crumbles into a blood-splattered nightmare in a matter of seconds, and a stylish, 1930s flashback that comes with a gay subtext that alludes to Interview With The Vampire and Condon’s acclaimed 1998 film, Gods and Monsters.

 

 

 

I suspect, though, that it’s the cinematic depiction of Bella and Edward’s wedding and honeymoon that the series’ predominantly female fans are most eager to see, and the filmmakers have clearly busted the budget and gone the extra mile in an attempt to please them. With the immeasurable assistance of cinematographer Guillermo Navarro and production designer Richard Sherman, Condon captures onscreen a magical dream of a forest wedding and reception that will surely inspire real-life copycats. Also breathtakingly beautiful is the island paradise off Brazil where the new Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cullen go for their honeymoon, there to challenge one another intellectually at chess games, skinny dip under the moonlight, and make passionate & destructive love in their beachfront cottage.

 

Don’t expect too much heat from the love scenes, though. Reportedly, the film’s first edit was slapped with an R rating in the USA because of the intensity of Bella and Edward’s bed scenes. And so, the filmmakers had to re-edit, taking out some of the passion and sizzle to get the more desirable PG-13 rating.

 

Despite all the editorial tampering with the love scenes, however, Bella still gets pregnant, and it’s at this plot juncture that Breaking Dawn Part One dials up the tension and conflict that were absent in the film’s first half. Bella’s precarious condition also allows the film’s visual effects artists to turn actress Kristen Stewart into a disturbingly emaciated shadow of her former self, utilizing the same trick (I guess) that was used to transform Chris Evans into the skinny Steve Rogers in Captain America.

 

The emaciated Bella, however, is the only convincing visual effect in Breaking Dawn Part One. Jacob’s computer-animated wolf pack, for instance, looks as fake as ever, even though the film’s production budget of $127 million is nearly double that of Eclipse’s $65 million budget.

 

Mediocre visual effects aside, though, the last few minutes of Breaking Dawn Part One come with enough dread, horror, danger and anticipation to make one forgive such technical lapses and move on to more important matters, such as waiting for the saga’s finale.

 

Rating: 3˝ Spots out of 5 •••.

 

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15 Comments
  • repent the end is near!
    ...i'd rather watch a Monkey Scratch his Butt than this...rnrnrnWhy did the chicken cross the road? To die for the sake of SCIENCE!
    Nov 24 2011 @ 08:23pm     Reply  
  • junjun
    i hate the movie as much as i hate edward's teeth
    Nov 24 2011 @ 07:00am     Reply  
  • sparkly vampires suck
    Kulang yung pelikula. Dapat si Buffy The Vampire Slayer at si Blade The Daywalker sinama din sa pelikula na to.
    Nov 23 2011 @ 01:51am     Reply  
  • black death
    Sparkly Vampires. Your choice...
    Nov 22 2011 @ 04:13pm     Reply  
  • baduy talaga pelikula na to
    sayang pera ko nung weekend. kulet kase ng gf ko.
    Nov 21 2011 @ 06:54pm     Reply  
  • west hollywood
    At the end of the day, it made money. It is what it is.
    Nov 21 2011 @ 05:38pm     Reply  
  • umm
    wow serious...high-brow pala mga tao dito :P
    Nov 21 2011 @ 04:14pm     Reply  
  • soy sauce amoy mo
    @ex-pasosyrnrnBella Swan? Ikaw ba yan? Lol
    Nov 21 2011 @ 02:07pm     Reply  
  • peachy
    actually natawa ako sa saga na ito,nakakaloka comedy siya.parang csi na vampire diaries.please bumawi kayo sa part 2.bitin pa yong part sa brasil.but i did like the connection between what's written in interview with the vampire 1998 and what's done here, how they relate slaves of brazil and their know how about witchcraft and demons.other than that nakakatawa yong film!
    Nov 21 2011 @ 11:25am     Reply  
  • tamac
    Anyone who reads or watched this is not very smart at all!
    Nov 21 2011 @ 10:06am     Reply  
  • yeuk rei
    this is garbage all right.. how can people even appreciate this franchise? the books were so badly written and the movies makes it even more pathetic. All the girls who fantasize about being Bella and yearning for their Edward needs to get a big slap of reality on their faces.. seriously would you give up your life just to get knocked up by a 100 something stalker virgin vampire who glitters? This movie is sexist and sends wrong messages to the ladies especially young women.
    Nov 21 2011 @ 09:32am     Reply  
  • ex-pasosy
    Mga pasosyal kayo mga booweeset. as if mga film critics kayo. kung ayaw nyo ng movie, e di wag kayo manood. That simple.
    Nov 21 2011 @ 08:55am     Reply  
  • a movie to puke for talaga
    I still don't get it on why chicks go crazy over this ridiculous movie franchise. It's garbage.
    Nov 19 2011 @ 09:06pm     Reply  
  • genuine
    This movie's actually good?! i feel like puking
    Nov 19 2011 @ 04:47pm     Reply  
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