Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer {and a few words about the movie}


My thoughts:
I've been pretty much saying this to everyone, but it's true...it's the end of an era.  It's hard to believe that it has only been five or six years since I read the first Twilight book, but in that short span of years, my reading has shifted tremendously.  I have broadened my horizons with more classics and literary fiction and, in so doing, I recognize the difference between great writing and writing that is less than so.  Now I'm not saying that I don't like the Twilight books because I do.  The Twilight series and the films in accompaniment have always evoked a sense of poignancy in me, I think in response to what I have lost in my own relationship.  I once felt the way Edward and Bella feel and, sadly, it's not there anymore.  Being reminded of the loss of true love one once had is a very hard thing.  Anyway, didn't mean to get so personal, but I just wanted to explain the effect the story had upon me.  I still break down in tears when I hear the Carter Burwell song from the films, "Bella's Lullaby," and I cried at the end of this book and pretty much at different times throughout the movie (I really am a highly emotional person so please don't fault me).  Moving on, I don't think that Meyer is a terrible writer, there is room for improvement (although I did think The Host was a better written book than the Twilight series) and I do think she has the potential for improvement.  Bottom line, she tells a great story and creates some terrific characters.  And in a lot of ways, the films brought out the best in some of the characters she created.  Like Charlie, Bella's dad...love him.  And Benjamin in this book and the actor who portrayed him.  And Lee Pace as Garrett....and Alistair...what an intriguingly absent character.  I think Meyer should write about them.  Perhaps Garrett summed up the entire series with the following words that he spoke in front of the Volturi (in the book):

I have witnessed the bonds within this family--I say family and not coven.  These strange golden-eyed ones deny their very natures.  But in return have they found something worth even more, perhaps, than mere gratification of desire?  I've made a little study of them in my time here, and it seems to me that intrinsic to this intense family binding--that which makes them possible at all--is the peaceful character of this life of sacrifice.....

And so, the Twilight saga is not just about a love story between a human and a vampire.  It is a story about family and lasting bonds, whether it's the Cullens or the Quileute wolves.  I truly believe that is the message Meyer intended to share.

The film:
Yes, the movie had some cheesy parts, as they all did, but it was still great to watch.  Like I said above, some of the characters/actors are just so great.  Who can resist Michael Sheen as Aro with his campy yet menacing mannerisms.  The Romanians were priceless.  Benjamin portrayed by Rami Malek was wonderful and Lee Pace as Garrett...so great.  I was intrigued by Alistair who was portrayed by Joe Anderson, but I really like him as an actor so that could be why.  And last but not least, Billy Burke as Charlie.  They couldn't have matched a better actor with the character in the book.  One final note:  the end that is not the end like the book.  Don't worry...it's not a spoiler.  You will see...it really makes the movie.

Benjamin
Aro
Alistair
Garrett
Charlie and Bella
Farewell, Twilight saga...at least we will be able to revisit you from time to time when we find ourselves feeling nostalgic.

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