CATEGORIES Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Fandom, Remakes and Sequels, Summer Movies, Summer Movies, Cinematical
Warning: This post contains Twilight spoilers a-plenty, so if you aren't familiar with the tale of Edward and Bella you might want to bookmark this one for later.
When the announcement came that Summit would be dividing Breaking Dawn into two films, the final chapter in the saga of Edward and Bella still had one big question hanging over it: "How are they going to handle the birth of Ed and Bella's daughter, Renesmee?" Well, over the last week we've been getting a few answers from Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, and Dawn's director Bill Condon, and while it looks like they aren't looking to cut out any of the "blood, sex, and feathers", the violent birth of Edward and Bella's daughter could happen off-screen entirely.
Of course, I'm a logical gal, and I can see their point, but that doesn't mean I'm not a little disappointed. Even as a non-fan of the franchise, the one thing I was looking forward to was getting to see how they handled this particularly 'wacky' moment in the story. But even if I were to keep my twisted sense of humor out of it, I can't help but feel that maybe it's about time this franchise got a little more grown up, and nothing says grown-up like viscera. But like I said, I'm all about logic, and in honor of my obsessive need to prioritize, I put together some pros and cons to watching Bella's special delivery on the big screen in all its gooey glory.
Pro: Like it or not, it was in the books.
In the world of sci-fi and fantasy (and whether you want to admit it or not, Twilight falls into this category) birth has been used as a metaphor and a scare tactic ever since Dr. Frankenstein popped in that first set of neck-bolts. To me, if we gloss over what is one of the more harrowing portions of Dawn, it's nothing less than a cop-out. Not only to the fans who want to see their beloved book on the big screen (warts and all), but it's a wasted opportunity to get non-fans into the theater to see what all the fuss is about.
From what I know of Meyer's narrative in Breaking Dawn, Bella's painful and dangerous pregnancy is a substantial portion of the story, and to spend most of a feature film discussing a life-threatening pregnancy only to have the camera drift out of frame when the main event is about to begin is kind of a cheat. Think about it; the scary music swells, Bella doubles over in pain, and then "Hey! Let's see what Mr. Swan is up to these days." Besides, I can't be the only one who thinks it would be pretty amusing to have a graphic and bloody birth scene in the middle of the veggie-vamp hearts and flowers.
Pro: Finally! Something truly freaky happens.
One of my biggest complaints about Twilight was how (if you'll pardon the pun) bloodless the whole series was. In the first film the killer vampires got the cut-away treatment with their kills, and in New Moon the instant CGI 'fursplosion' of Team Jacob was quick enough that you would miss it if you blinked. In short, this franchise was seriously lacking in supernatural elements. Hopefully, David Slade will remedy that situation with the action-heavy Eclipse later this month, but if not, the promise of a nasty down and dirty birth scene could finally earn Twilight some 'vamp-credibility' among those (like me) who feel the whole franchise has missed out on the best part of any vampire story: sex and blood.
Con: Can These Actors Pull it Off?
I know this sounds insulting, but the Twilight franchise has never been known for demanding top-notch performances from it's actors. Kristen Stewart's contribution to the role of Bella has mainly been her skill with staring with her mouth open, Robert Pattinson just kind of stands there (yes I get it, he's a vampire hence the broodiness, but sometimes there is fine line between brooding and brain dead), and then we have our lovable 'werewolf' Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who has the same tendency to stare but with the occasional flexing of manly muscles. But before you get all offended, keep in mind I'm not saying these three can't act, I'm just saying that the franchise hasn't ever really required them too.
The birth of Renesmee was a controversial moment even for Twilight fans who thought the story had taken a left turn by the time that freaky little red-head was born, and once you consider that the franchise (in book and movie form) has always shied away from blood and gore, Renesmee's birth on the big screen could quickly degenerate the supernatural romance into a B-horror. That is, if you don't 'believe' what's happening right before your eyes, and getting an audience to buy-in always comes down to an actor's performance -- I'm just not sure if these three are up to it.
Con: Maybe it's a little too freaky.
Having been a fan of supernatural soaps and vamps for longer than I can remember, I am pretty used to some far out concepts when it comes to sex and death. But in Breaking Dawn I'm pretty sure that Meyers hit a new high (or low depending on your point of view) when it comes to the 'ewwwww' factor. After untold pages of chastity and denial, in Dawn, fans got to the big moment: Bella and Edward get it on. But instead of finally letting the vamp out the bag and letting our couple get a little R-rated, Bella is immediately knocked up (and around) from her night with her husband, and it nearly kills her -- not exactly what I would call sex positive. Once you throw in a birth scene that could give À l'intérieur a run for it's money and Jacob's 'imprinting', you have a scene that could send people running from the theater in droves.
So maybe it's because I'm not a dedicated fan, or maybe it's because I'd just would like to see the franchise take a risk, but if I ruled the world (or Summit Entertainment), Bill Condon could go for broke and include every bloody second -- I guess it's a good thing for Twilight fans that I'm not in charge.
Leave your votes for whether or not you want to see Bella, Jacob, and Edward get 'preggy with it' in the comments below...