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