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TWILIGHT SAGA, THE: BREAKING DAWN PART 1

SYNOPSIS:
After their wedding, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) travel to Rio de Janeiro for their honeymoon and Bella soon discovers she is pregnant. During a near-fatal childbirth, Edward agrees to Bella's wishes to be immortal. But the arrival of their daughter Renesmee starts a chain of events in which the Cullens and the Volturi, the fearsome council of vampire leaders, become aligned for battle, posing different threats to the wolf pack and vampire coven.

Review by Louise Keller:
The earth moves for Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattinson) moves heaven and earth to save her, in this event-filled first part of the final chapter of the highly successful Twilight franchise adapted from Stephanie Meyers’ books.

Whether the decision to split Breaking Dawn into two parts is to prolong the anticipation for the die-hard fans or to milk its box office spoils, the reality is that a film that ends at half time can only partially satisfy. And for a film that promises everything we have been waiting for - Bella’s dreams coming true – the rewards are relatively slight. That said, fans will be satisfied by the romantic nature of things, although the scale narrows with considerably less bite from the vampires (pun intended) and a shortage of werewolves’ snarls.

Commitment is the main theme throughout, beginning with the preparations for the dream wedding with flowers, lace and a dizzying kiss as Edward commits to Bella saying ‘No measure of time with you will be long enough: let’s start with forever.’ These are powerful words, especially from a vampire’s mouth and romance is top of the menu as the wide-eyed bride is taken to an idyllic tropical-island honeymoon destination. Skinny-dipping under a full moon, tenderness and passion-free sex scenes follow. It is this romantic scenario that the film does best.

Jacob (Lautner) is ready to commit, too; he is there for Bella, albeit begrudgingly on her wedding day but concerned to learn Edward will postpone her vampire transformation until after the honeymoon. As the hot-blooded wolf, he keeps Bella warm when needed and he later shows how deep the claws of his loyalty scratch.

Apart from the early scenes, Stewart spends most of the film looking like death warmed up, with dark circles under her eyes, and emaciated body as the pregnancy threatens to end in catastrophe. The scene in which she drinks a blood-shake through a straw is nicely handled by director Bill Condon, eliciting a few giggles from the audience. Pattinson, in the role that made him a sex symbol, comfortably resumes his pale-faced vampire, although there is little for him to do, except look concerned.
First published in the Sun-Herald

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

TWILIGHT SAGA, THE: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 (M)
(US, 2011)

CAST: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Dakota Fanning, Taylor Lautner, Anna Kendrick, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Michael Sheen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Jackson Rathbone, Maggie Grace, Peter Facinelli

PRODUCER: Wyck Godrey, Stephanie Meyer, Karen Rosenfelt

DIRECTOR: Bill Condon

SCRIPT: Melissa Rosenberg (novel by Stephanie Meyer)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Guillermo Navarro

EDITOR: Virginia Katz

MUSIC: Carter Burwell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Sherman

RUNNING TIME: 117 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 11, 2011







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