But anyway, if you're going to view Inception as a metaphor for movie-making, one of the most intriguing concepts is that the deeper down you go, so to speak (the number of dreams within dreams you go into), the less stable the environments are, the more obvious it becomes that This Is All A Dream. The same can be said about most movies and books: the longer and the weirder it goes, the harder it is to keep it all together.
This is precisely what is happening with Breaking Dawn; a few chapters in, and I already feel like I am reading fan fiction. My working theory for why this is happening is that S. Meyer has written a series with no particular conclusion to build towards; Bella is going to become a vampire, and the Volturi are going to turn up at some point, but those are really the only threads we've carried with us from the previous three books. This story is so loosely connected to the first three that it feels like someone else is hijacking the story and taking it somewhere else; this is especially true when you realize that most of the few plot threads we've brought with us into BD are going to be made irrelevant soon. The Edge, a staggering piece of Alice/Bella slash fiction, quickly neutralizes most of the dangling plot threads of New Moon, which is where it picks up: Edward, Jacob, Jasper, and Victoria are all brought up and dealt with so the story can go elsewhere (elsewhere being hot girl-on-girl action, but still). Breaking Dawn does not feel dissimilar, and it has even fewer plot threads to dispense with. But even if S. Meyer had extended some of her plot into Breaking Dawn in a meaningful way, we're still “going deeper” by virtue of going on. You can only extend your ill-defined universe for so long.
Because the film versions of the Twilight Saga came into existence after a few of the books had already walked the earth, the breakdown is accelerated for them. The way plot elements (especially the zanier ones) are dropped almost feels like throwing luggage from a ship because you're sinking. Critics lauded the self-awareness on display in Eclipse, but I don't feel like the filmmakers had a choice. (Girls are going to scream when Jacob first appears no matter what, you're going to have to make it slow motion to give them some time. So why not add a ridiculous “badass” music cue while you're at it?) SO ANYWAY, it's fairly interesting that in the audio commentary for Eclipse, Robert Pattinson takes issue with this assessment. He mentions, during a confrontation between Jacob and Edward, the previously mentioned critical sentiment, and seems to disagree with it. He says something to the effect of: why would you want to see actors who act like they are acting?
First of all, Rob: because it's fun. Second of all: that's not quite what it is. In my post about Eclipse, I praised Taylor Lautner's (and Pattinson's!) ability to somehow seem both engaged with the material and above it. The self-awareness is there (“Does he own a shirt?” and “Face it: I'm hotter than you” being prime examples) if you want it, but you can ignore it. That's mostly because the base-level for the self-awareness is the original text (When Edward says “Does he own a shirt?” he's mocking the notion of Jacob's perpetual shirtlessness, which is employed entirely for unironic erotic purposes by S. Meyer. The films criticize the books in subtle ways; I can't decide if this is Melissa Rosenberg's influence or Catherine Hardwicke's. The genesis of all of this is Jessica pointing out the weird incestuous nature of the Cullens in the first film, a fact that goes totally unacknowledged by the books. With that line, Hardwicke/Rosenberg launched a thousand meta ships).
Maybe Pattinson just hasn't read the books, which is why he doesn't see this other level. He's Fisher in the Inception metaphor version of all of this. And it's probably for the best. If you knew where this story was going, would you have signed on in the first place?
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