Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Interrupt Your Star Wars for a Special Crappy Bulletin

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I

I know, I know. Why am I doing this? Why am I even implying that Twilight, those glorified dime store romance novels, are part and parcel with general fandom awesomeness? I’m not. I have heard it argued that the geek community needs to be kinder to Twilight fans, because they are geeks too. I must first say that I have never met another person with legitimately geeky interests who didn't also hate Twilight, and I don’t think any level of community should keep something so laughable, terrible, and downright misogynist safe from its due ridicule and criticisms. And yes, I am aware that, by now, all the bad writing and creepy, patriarchal, religious subtext has been thoroughly discussed. And I am also aware that the most recent film has been out for weeks now and is, thus, old hat. But I have just one last thing to share. Many women in their early twenties, like me, have been called out for criticizing Twilight because we are not part of it's audience. “Pre-teen girls love it,” we’re told, “They are merely expressing a new generations desire for angst-ridden love that glamorizes being a quiet, sad, unassuming girl.” I have heard these exact arguments before. So, here is a review of the new Twilight film. It is by a 13 year-old girl. And she doesn't  think this is a story her generation needs to hear.

Breaking Dawn: Part One Review
By Izzy Labbe
I’m not going to lie. In fact, I’m going to be 100% truthful when I say the latest movie in the crazy-popular Twilight saga, “Breaking Dawn: Part One” is pretty far up there on the list of the most disturbing movies I have ever seen.

Not only is it disgusting, graphic, scarring, and way beyond its unfitting PG-13 rating, “Breaking Dawn” is exceedingly sexist.
For all those unfamiliar with the Twilight saga, let me sum it up briefly for you: An “average” girl named Bella Swan moves from her mother’s Arizona home to live with her father in rainy, gloomy Forks, Washington. There she gets the attention of Edward Cullen, who is of course, a tall, handsome teenage boy that all the girls in school like. They fall madly and passionately in love, but it turns out that Edward is a vampire, which would probably scare the pants off any normal person. Bella, though, is so in love that she doesn’t care what Edward is, which would be quite sweet, if he weren’t a ravenous monster who wants to eat her.

The story line gets a little more complicated when Jacob Black comes in, who is also just an “average” teenage boy, who just happens to be tall, handsome, werewolf. Oh, yeah. And he’s also in love with Bella.
So after three long books and millions of dollars in grossing, we’re left with the last book/movie, “Breaking Dawn: Part One”, the beginning of the end. Bella and Edward are now engaged, and after a lavish wedding, they find themselves on their honeymoon, in a small Brazilian island that the Cullens own (did I happen to mention that they’re incredibly rich?).
So, basically, they have an average honeymoon. Here’s where it gets disturbing: Since Edward is a vampire, he’s a lot stronger than Bella, who is still just a human. So he ends up badly bruising and hurting her, which she thinks is normal. Then she becomes pregnant with a demonic vampire fetus, and it all goes downhill from there.
As the vampire baby grows inside of her, she gets weaker and skinnier, and scarier, until she looks like Zelda from “Pet Cemetery”, which is to say, a bag of bones and skin. Except, she’s pregnant.
As she grows weaker, the baby, who is literally sucking the life out of her, gets hungrier. So what does she do to nutrition her little bundle of joy? She drinks human blood out of a soda bottle.
After breaking all of the bones in her body, this baby is finally ready to come out, many months prematurely. Knowing that the baby could kill Bella if she delivered it normally, they just end up stabbing Bella’s swollen, bruised stomach with a scalpel and literally ripping the baby from inside of her. At this point, Bella is dying. And yet she still wants to see and hold her baby, which Edward allows her to do. And then her little baby girl bites her breast, and Bella dies.
At this point in the movie, I was close to vomiting. Not to worry, though. Hubby Edward, terrified at the thought of losing his new wife, takes a syringe filled with his venom and injects it directly into Bella’s heart. The movie ends with Jacob, (still in love with Bella), falling madly in love with Renesme, the demon spawn, and Bella becoming a vampire.
As you can probably tell by now, this movie is not for the weak-stomached. Or anyone at all, really. It could just end here, being a wildly disturbing, graphic movie. But no. That’s not really the point. I’m writing about this movie not just because it’s damaging to see, but because the whole idea of it is wrong.
Bella knows that Edward is a murderer, as he explains to her many times. Bella knows how dangerous he is. Bella knows that Edward could kill her, and WILL kill her, if she’s to become a vampire. But that’s what she wants. It seems that Bella just wants to die, or be devoured and turned into a vampire, a lifeless, terrifying monster.
It makes sense that Edward’s “adopted” sister Rosalie hates Bella so much. Vampires don’t really choose to become vampires. In fact, most of them don’t want to be vampires. But Bella does.
This is a movie targeted at teenagers, specifically teenage girls. When I went to see it, there were more than a few girls who looked under 10-years-old in the theatre. It disturbs me so much that the only reason “Breaking Dawn” is rated PG-13 is probably because they want to make money off of the age group it’s targeted at.
Would you want your daughter being submitted to the messages Twilight gives? That when your boyfriend leaves you as Edward does to Bella in “New Moon,” you should just lounge around the house for months, staring out the window and wondering if you have the will to live? Should teenagers think that it’s normal when your husband bruises you? Should it just be a sign of his love? Is it right that you should HAVE to keep a baby, even when it’s literally killing you? Would you give absolutely everything up, even your life, just to have a husband?

These are the messages Twilight is sending to young girls. Decide for yourself what you think about it, but I know how I feel: there should be less Bella Swans in the world, and there should be less books and movies like “Breaking Dawn.”

So there you have it. The last time I will ever discuss Twilight on this blog. I merely felt it was important to share the opinions of a member of its target audience.

Later this week, we will return to discussing a female character so awesome, a romantic relationship so down to earth, and a narrative so much better it might as well be from another galaxy……..

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