Monday, October 22, 2012
How Exactly Will They Fix The Ending Of Breaking Dawn pt. 2?
(*Reconsidering her anger over her adult friend Jacob declaring romantic intentions for her infant child, Bella realizes she'll be happy to see them together. "I know it goes against the grain to say so, but she could do worse," Edward muses. It's a line that seems to fly in the face of Meyer's defenders, who claim their relationship is not meant to invoke child-brides or other "against the grain" practices. What grain is it going against, otherwise? More here.)
The revision happened anyway, probably, since there was no way in hell Bill Condon was going to film that ending exactly as written. The trailers for BD2 indicate something a little more action-packed, and Kristen Stewart was recently quoted as saying that the ending will throw even expectant fans "for a loop." So what is going to happen?
The problem is that after the over-the-top, bloody birth that caps the extended treatise on the merits of abstinence that is Books 1, 2, 3 and half of 4, our heroes really have nowhere to go. Stephenie Meyer goes on thematic safari for the duration: Bella is given series of increasingly meaningless missions involving the procurement of fake IDs, of all things, and meanwhile, the Cullen house fills up with allies, and then war is declared, and then battle come down.
An inordinate amount of time is spent introducing these folks because, we assume, some of them are going to have to die in the battle to lend weight to the proceedings. But in the end none of them do, because there ends up being no battle to speak of, and thus they serve no purpose whatsoever (Imagine if all the guys in red shirts just hung out on the Starship Enterprise for a couple of days, we learned their names, and then they went home). That will change. In the film version, some of these vamps are going to bite it (sorry). Look for a battle, and death scenes from the characters most reluctant to join the Cullen cause, and probably also (let's the honest) the black vampires.
If some folks are going to have to die, that means the Volturi are going to have to actually be evil. In the book, though Edward and his father are both wildly suspicious of their motives, the dark-cloaked ancient vampire council ends up being pretty fair and balanced. Aro is set up as both the King Of England and Dr. George Tiller, but when one cuts through Edward's hearsay and looks at his actions, brother never does a damned thing wrong.* OK, the Volturi kill one vampire—one from their own side—for providing misleading information. Fair enough! But that'll change too. The first Breaking Dawn film sets up the Volturi as campily, unambiguously evil, so hopefully that will evolve in this film beyond the innuendo in the source material. They'll have to draw first blood!
(*Troublingly, Meyer's suggestion seems to be that just thinking about doing bad deeds, as the Volturi do, is evil enough. It's reminiscent of Evangelical talk about sinning in your mind, or having lust "in your heart." Also: thoughtcrime from 1984. By the way: if you compare vampire deaths across the whole series, the Cullens have WAY MORE kills than the supposedly evil dudes.)
From there though, what? What would shock and please Twi-Hards? A sex montage? A dance sequence? If you're one of those people who thinks Kristen Stewart's sex scandal was a marketing ploy to turn her "heel," do you think we're in for an on-screen death for Bella? Will she lay down her life in motherly sacrifice, completing the convoluted allegory the 2012 GOP Platform that Twilight sometimes aspires to be? (What makes a Republican happier than a healthy baby and a dead mother?) Or will it be a fake death that looks like a noble sacrifice and then also gives us the catharsis of the hero surviving? 2012 has A LOT OF PRECEDENT in that regard. (Whoops, spoiler alert for Katy Perry: Part Of Me.)
I've already written my dream ending for Breaking Dawn: President Obama kills everyone with a drone strike. But I'm pretty sure Barry wouldn't be down for a cameo. This thing premieres after the election, after all. Hey whoa, stop and think for a second how different the world will be when Breaking Dawn pt. 2 comes out. How will we feel about our geopolitical future? Will we even care about Edward and Bella? JKJK of course we will.
But what do y'all think? What's going to be different about this movie? What will save it from being a cruel bore like its source material? Is it just going to be some kind of Jacob and adult-Nessie coda? I fucking hope not, man. That will really bum me out.