The first time I read the The Twilight Saga, I devoured it in just a few days. All four books. And when I got to the end of Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final book, I cried in spite of the happy ending. I became so enamored with the story that I was sad that it was over.
At the time, the first film had already made it to DVD. The wheels of this massive machine were fully in motion. Knowing that all of the books would eventually be interpreted visually, I couldn’t help but wonder how the characters, scenery, and memorable moments would play out in the movies. But none more than Breaking Dawn. Would the final film be able to capture the essence of that happy (yet sad) ending in the same way?
The answer is an astounding YES!
Holy shit, guys. I was a sobbing, blubbering, happy mess. Me and my daughter.
Breaking Dawn (the book) is roughly 700 pages of Bella Swan’s many transformations. She marries Edward Cullen. She loses her virginity. She becomes pregnant and gives birth to Renesmee. Bella becomes a vampire. Ultimately, she becomes the matriarch of the Cullen vampire coven as they battle the ruling class coven of vampires, the Volturi.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 (the film) picks up just as Bella is turned into a vampire. It was an abrupt beginning that had me worried that film would be shoddy where it mattered most. But it eventually smoothed out to be a smorgasbord of Twi-hard indulgences.
As the Cullens prepare to face the Volturi, they call on their vampire friends from around the world. Vampires from the Amazon, Egypt, Alaska, Ireland and Romania descend upon Forks, Washington, and each appearance equals a squee-worthy moment. The different vampires and their stories were among my favorite things about the fourth book. The film did a wonderful job bringing them to life. Click here to see images of the many vampires of Breaking Dawn.
Kristen nailed it as vampire Bella!
All the years of slouch-shouldered lip-chewing and stammering are melted away by vampire Bella’s fierceness. To the Kstew naysayers who complained about her performance as human Bella: She was doing it on purpose because that is who the character is for three and a half books. Then she becomes a vampire who is confident and super-strong. Vampire Bella walks the walk, screams the talk, and has no intention of going down with out one hell of a fight.
In the grand finale as Bella and Edward are in the midst of their happy ending, the film cuts to an image of the last page of the book. I have talked to many Twi-fans, and one facet of Twi-love that seems to be universal is that last page. Visually, the film embodies what the words of that page contain, but cutting to a visual of the page brought the emotion of reading it for the first time rushing to the surface. That last page that rocked my world (and so many others) did it again in the movie. Bill Condon, you are a genius for putting that bit in. It ties the whole affair together. It was always about the books, and it was always about the fans of the books.
The Dessert to My Dessert
As if seeing all of the different vampires in the movies wasn’t enough, at the end of the film there is a roll call of ALL of the characters throughout the entire Twilight Saga, complete with some of their best images from the films. It’s basically a nostalgia bomb. Very effective.
So, the end is nigh my friends. The film will have it’s run in the theatres, a push for DVD/Blu-ray sales, and then the inevitable box set. But we have reached the end of Bella’s reign on the big screen. I always knew how it ended, but nothing would prepare me for the surge of emotion as I watched it end. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 was an immensely satisfying fan experience and I am grateful. I think I can go quietly into this goodnight.
Twi-haters, be happy! Soon, The Twilight Saga will be a thing of the past (maybe). Twi-hards, go in peace. This is the end we always wanted.