Saturday, December 3, 2011

breaking dawn part one — the good, the bad, and the very very bad

Now that the crowds have calmed down, we went to see Breaking Dawn—Part One.  And this turned out to be the perfect night to see it.  The audience was fairly up in arms...

But first, here's a review of Breaking Dawn—Part One, in no particular order:

The pregnancy:  blurry, with crackling sounds. Stephanie Meyer really gets pregnancy. The movie doesn't.

Vampire-'werewolf' fights:  blurry, without crackling sounds.

Vampire-human sex: blurry, with feathers.

Telepathic shape-shifting wolves: noisy, but drowned out by audience laughter.

The wedding: gorgeous but with sappy music and way too much dizzy camera gushy stuff.

Jacob: not as annoying as usual. Maybe because he keeps his shirt on most of the time.

The Cullens: crappiest distracting white makeup and hair to date.

The lovely couple: doing their best, I suppose, given what they've got to work with.

Soundtrack//songs: Too schmaltzy for words and bounced the audience out.

Okay, but the movie itself wasn't the most interesting part.

The best part was standing in line for the Women's Restroom after the movie. Which tonight was totally packed. There were two hostile camps of young women. Those who'd read all the books (or listened to them) and those who had not read the books. They shouted and screamed at each other, but managed not to rip each others' hair out.  One camp expected the movie to be well-made, comprehensible, and gratifying. The other camp couldn't care less, because they could fill in the blanks from their reading the books numerous times. Both camps were pretty yucked out by pregnancy. And that's probably a good thing.

Consensus: Sucky music. Very sucky wolves. Suckiest wolf voices. And most of all, not enough vampire-human (safe?) sex rather than just noisy smooching.

But these are things that can be fixed.

My advice: get back to the editing room until you people get it right. How hard could that be?

So. You're wondering. What then was the good part?

The good part is that the story is important.  Stephanie Meyer depicts—and the movie attempts to address—the transference of allegiance from the gooeyness of romantic love to the ferocity of partum and maternal love, all of which comes down to biologically triggered hormonal madness.  I mean, who writes about that shift for young, purely romance-driven girls? It's something they now get to talk about. Or scream about in the Women's Restroom.

It's just not a very pretty sight on screen.

Post-mortem: If done right, the descent of Bella in Breaking Dawn Part One into oxytocin-spiked spine-ripping self-sacrifice should be redeemed by her grande post-partum/postmortem empowerment in Part Two.  Those who can't stand Bella's current apparent lack of agency will just have to wait till next year till she comes into her own.

Either that, or pick up the books and read. It's a hell of a lot more gratifying.

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