Note: This review contains SPOILERS for those who have not read The Twilight Saga.
SUMMARY (from IMDB): The Quileute’s close in on expecting parents Edward and Bella, whose unborn child poses a threat to the Wolf Pack and the town’s people of Forks.
Breaking Dawn is my favourite book of The Twilight Saga. I was skeptic of the film, though, because the previous films based on the series had disappointed me in some ways (you can read about it here and here). However, Breaking Dawn Part 1 turned out much better then I had expected. It follows the book quite closely, with only a few additions, and it includes all the key moments from the book.
The initial twenty minutes or so are pretty mediocre. I had to put some effort in to look past the original casting issues and bad hairdos and make-up. In the scene with Edward and Bella the night before the wedding Pattison looks down right ugly. Fortunately, the make-up artists did much better job later in the film.
Some scenes are on my opinion redundant, such as Edward’s confession about his rebellious days – I think this should be done much earlier in the films or not at all – and Bella’s reaction to it is too superficial. Otherwise, the few additional scenes work out well in the film as a whole.
Putting the aforementioned issues aside, this is an enjoyable film. The settings are beautiful, especially the wedding scenery and Isle Esme. The acting is quite good, and the dialogues are alternatively funny, thoughtful, and grave in all the right places.
The love scenes, Bella’s pregnancy, and child-birth are dealt with delicately, they are realistic enough, but not exaggerated. The emotions are well-conveyed, both script-wise and acting-wise. I love the way Jacob’s reasoning is presented, in particularly in the scene when he thinks Bella has died. Among others, that one and the imprinting scene are perfect. Bella’s transformation is equally well illustrated.
Overall, Breaking Dawn Part 1 is well-worth seeing. Dividing Breaking Dawn in two films was a good idea, as it enabled the film-makers to include all the important things without rushing. Even so, I still want more: more of Emmet’s jokes, more of Jacob and Rosalie scowling at each other, more of everything. I hope we get that in Breaking Dawn Part 2 which I am already looking forward to.
RECOMMENDATION: Twilight fans will enjoy this film. PG-13 rating is appropriate, so I do not think parents should drag their 10-year-olds to the screening.