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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Breaking Dawn

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: Catholic News Service

SPOLIER ALERT!
 
Last year I reviewed the “Twilight” film franchise (“Twilight”, “New Moon” and “Eclipse”) as a whole in “The Tidings” as “basically a love story.” http://www2.the-tidings.com/2010/071610/movies.htm. I wrote about the influence of author Stephenie Meyer’s Mormonism and did not think there was evidence of much, especially to anyone unfamiliar with the tenants of Mormonism. With this new film, I think there the Mormon influence is evident, at least on the level of allegory.
 
With “Breaking Dawn Part I” we are nearing the end of the benevolent (the Cullens no longer hunt for human blood like their counterparts who do) vampire-werewolf-human saga. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattison) finally marry after Bella has a gory vision of all the wedding guests in a huge pile, dead and bleeding.
 
A child is conceived while Edward and Bella are on their honeymoon, but something is not right. The baby is growing too rapidly. Jacob (Taylor Lautner), the shape-shifting werewolf who loved Bella since they were children, becomes angry that Edward does not intend to “turn” Bella into a vampire before their wedding night, as a pregnancy with a half-human, half-vampire child could kill her. And it nearly does.
 
Jacob, along with two others, leaves their pack to protect Bella and her unborn baby from the werewolves. The wolves fear that the mixed child (that Edward thinks is a monster that he wants Bella to abort but she refuses) will eventually destroy them. At the end of the film, Jacob “imprints” himself on the baby to save her (according to the law of the wolves, they cannot destroy an intended spouse who has been imprinted) thus claiming the child for a wife.
 
This male domination for salvation scenario is a bit creepy. Consider that Edward is a hundred years old and he has been grooming Bella for about three years now, though it seems like she is pursuing him. Now Jacob has “imprinted” on an infant girl, binding all of them. Interesting.
 
There is a lot of blood in this film and if anything links it to the Mormon faith, it is the symbolic nature of the blood connecting families, past generations, and even those yet to be born. As vampires are immortal, so are Mormon men who are the channels of salvation and immortality for their wives.
 
I wanted to see the film just to see what happens; I only read the first novel and while interesting to begin with, it seemed to turn to producing words about 2/3 of the way through.
 
Only Bella has to change in this series so far; the male figures act and react in relation to her choices. But is she really free?
 
Maybe the “Twilight” franchise is more than a romance after all.  And perhaps “Breaking Dawn Part 1” is more than a bloody mess that will introduce us to Part II due in 2012. You have to be really invested in the characters to make this film work for you.


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Elizabeth of Portugal: Elizabeth is usually depicted in royal garb with a dove or an olive branch. At her birth in 1271, her father, Pedro III, future king of Aragon, was reconciled with his father, James, the reigning monarch. This proved to be a portent of things to come. Under the healthful influences surrounding her early years, she quickly learned self-discipline and acquired a taste for spirituality. Thus fortunately prepared, she was able to meet the challenge when, at the age of 12, she was given in marriage to Denis, king of Portugal. She was able to establish for herself a pattern of life conducive to growth in God’s love, not merely through her exercises of piety, including daily Mass, but also through her exercise of charity, by which she was able to befriend and help pilgrims, strangers, the sick, the poor—in a word, all those whose need came to her notice. At the same time she remained devoted to her husband, whose infidelity to her was a scandal to the kingdom. 
<p>He, too, was the object of many of her peace endeavors. She long sought peace for him with God, and was finally rewarded when he gave up his life of sin. She repeatedly sought and effected peace between the king and their rebellious son, Alfonso, who thought that he was passed over to favor the king’s illegitimate children. She acted as peacemaker in the struggle between Ferdinand, king of Aragon, and his cousin James, who claimed the crown. And finally from Coimbra, where she had retired as a Franciscan tertiary to the monastery of the Poor Clares after the death of her husband, she set out and was able to bring about a lasting peace between her son Alfonso, now king of Portugal, and his son-in-law, the king of Castile.</p> American Catholic Blog In the name of the Father, use my mind to bring you honor, and of the Son, fill my heart to spread your word, and of the Holy Spirit, strengthen me to carry you out to all the world. Amen.

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