27 December 2012

+JMJ+

Twelve Things about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1

12. If you follow this blog religiously (and of course you do!), then you know that I watched Breaking Dawn, Part 2 before this one. See my Twelve Things post about the last Twilight Saga movie to know why it convinced me to give this one a chance . . . and while watching, also to give it a break

11. Part 1 begins with different characters' reactions to Bella and Edward's wedding invitations--and at first I thought it should have opened with Charlie. Not only is Billy Boyd the best actor in the entire franchise, but his character is the only one who senses that Bella is passing beyond our reach . . . because she is passing behind his reach . . . and not just because she is growing up.

10. But I soon figured out why director Billy Condon decided to open the story with Jacob. In his hands, what drives Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is not the development of Bella and Edward's relationship, but the development of Jacob's character! Interesting, aye? 

So let's talk about "imprinting" for a moment, because it's kind of important. 

9. In the Twilight universe, "imprinting" is what happens when one of the Quileute shape-shifters meets the one who will be his or her mate for life. It refers to both the recognition of the mate and the inviolable commitment to him or her that immediately follows.

No, Leah and Jacob are not "imprinting" on each other.
(But they're begging for the "Forever Alone" face, aren't they, Raphael? LOL!!!)

If I remember correctly, we first learn about this phenomenon in New Moon, when we meet Sam Uley, the leader of Jacob's gang the alpha of Jacob's pack, and learn that he broke up with his ex-girlfriend Leah Clearwater after unexpectedly (even to him) imprinting on a woman from another tribe. Leah, who turned out to be a shifter as well, hasn't imprinted on anyone else yet, and she's still not over Sam. In this installment, she tells Jacob that she wishes she would imprint on anyone, just so that last link to Sam would finally be severed. But Jacob, himself not over Bella, is in no hurry to get his own imprinting done, because he sees it as something that will take away his freedom to choose whom to love.

Of course, the wrinkle in Jacob's logic is that there's not much of a difference between his "free" choice to pine after Bella and the dreaded imprinting on someone who is not Bella--except that he'll likely have more of a chance with the latter.

8. Despite the stronger focus on Jacob in this installment, we still get a lot of Bella-and-Edward-specific story. They're wildly in love, newly married, and on their honeymoon, on a gorgeous private island loaned to them as a wedding present. What could possibly go wrong? =P

Another romantic chess match between lovey-dovey newlyweds.
And that's not a euphemism.

Answer: Edward doesn't want to have sex with Bella because he fears he will hurt her, so while he thinks up fun but non-sexual activities for them to do together, she thinks up ways to seduce him. Bella is actually awkwardly adorable in these scenes . . . and Edward needs to be slapped silly until the self-loathing stops.

7. Incidentally, one of my favourite scenes is from the honeymoon. It is one of Bella's "human moments"--and come to think of it, one of her last ones.

One morning, Edward leaves her to go hunting (and feeding), so she makes herself a hearty lunch in the kitchen. I like it because one thing I honestly love about Bella is that she is a good cook and likes to feed others. (If you're interested in knowing more, I've tackled this irony in a Theme Thursday post, too!)

6. It's also worth looking at Bella's wardrobe palette. Purple during her last night in her father's house; white (with "something blue") for the wedding; black and white during the honeymoon; grey throughout the pregnancy. Those who think of blue as her colour (See what Meyer and the movies made you do???) may wonder about that--and for us, there is the opening of Breaking Dawn, Part 2.

5. So we know that Bella is going to become a vampire and that Jacob is going to fulfill his shape-shifter destiny by imprinting on someone. Both are typical of Meyer's view of romantic love, which is best symbolised by a transformation into a whole other creature. But what about Edward? Doesn't he develop at all?

I'd have to read the book to be sure, but he doesn't change much in the movie. We just learn more stories from his past that purport to explain his character some more. It's another layer peeled back, but as far as I can tell, no layer has ever been added to him. Even fatherhood doesn't change him that much.

4. So let's talk about his child, yes? Despite Edward's reservations, our pale newlyweds have sex twice . . . and within days, Bella is pregnant with a baby that seems to be devouring her from the inside out. Edward's first instinct is to procure an abortion, but Bella is determined to carry their child to term. It's a decision that leads her new husband to his second hissy fit of the movie.

Apparently, Edward had been too busy worrying about the physical consequences Bella would face as a vampire's wife that he never anticipated the emotional consequences he would suffer as a human's husband. So . . . typical. =P

3. Now, seriously, does anyone else find it unfair--or at the very least, strange--that vampire males can have biological offspring with human females, but never with vampire females? This is due to a kind of deficiency in vampire females: they cannot "change," so they cannot have children. I wasn't too bothered by this until I learned that Leah Clearwater might be childless forever as well, her periods having stopped after she "phased" into a wolf for the first time.

Barrenness in old-school vampirism makes sense--but remember that Meyer has "rebranded" vampirism as the ultimate superpower and the fulfilment of romantic love. So why is she taking away her female heroines' ability to have children??? To me, this is the creepiest thing about the series--and I know that's saying a lot!

2. The second creepiest thing? The jury is still debating whether it is the girl whom Jacob finally "imprints" on . . . or the fact that she has a face made entirely out of CGI. So I'll have to get back to you on that.

1. I have to end this with Charlie. What I had hoped for Breaking Dawn, Part 1, thanks to Breaking Dawn, Part 2, was more of the growing relationship between him and Sue Clearwater. I mean, after putting up with Bella's mother and Bella herself for almost twenty years, surely the guy deserves a little love from a woman who won't treat him like crap! Am I right, people?


Image Source: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 poster, b) Jacob and Leah, c) Bella and Edward

4 comments:

Angie Tusa said...

Pretty much everyone loves poor Charlie. He deserves a good woman and so much more!

I suppose Edward's change moment is supposed to be when he hears the baby's thoughts, but you're right, he doesn't so much learn as he just stops being a complete jerk to her for once.

I think I'm so bothered by the absurd reasoning given for how male vampires can reproduce that I never take the time to think about how the females are left out. :P

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

The more I know about this series, the more I think I should have been on "Team Charlie" from the beginning! If I have a free hour tonight, I'll change all the tags on my Twilight-related posts to reflect that! ;-)

And Edward is probably Meyer's weakest character--which is really, really saying a lot!

I think we would have all accepted female vampires' inability to reproduce if male vampires suddenly hadn't been given a pass. It just threw the absurdity into stark relief. To be fair, though, I can see why Bella's monster pregnancy is necessary to the story: it gives Edward a plausible reason to turn her, and it is a logical product of their relationship. It was just done incredibly badly!

Jenny said...

Oh man! You have the most amazingly anylitical mind! I love it! Who knew one could actually get something deeper from these? Not me.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Thanks, Jenny! =) I'm glad you liked this post.