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Sunday, November 25, 2012

(Published in The Sunday Guardian, on 25 November, 2012, retrieved from

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and others
Director: Bill Condon
Rating: 1 star
The only thing that hurts more than a terrible film that looks terrible is a terrible film that looks beautiful. In Breaking Dawn 2, we’re drawn into the woods where the Cullen coven lives through an amalgam of scenery and body fluids that shows us just how much of a mismatch the limp storyline and the superb camerawork make. We meet Bella Cullen née Swan (Kristen Stewart), whose creepy eyeballs apparently magnify her vision.
Those of us who suffered the misfortune of watching the first edition of this two-part finale to the three-part series that is Twilight know that Bella is a human who was turned into a vampire on the verge of death, courtesy vampire husband Edward (Robert Pattinson). For some reason, she’s now stronger than he is. And we assume he’s supportive of equality for women vampires, because he sports an irritating “awww” look on his face every time Bella drinks blood, wants to hunt, or attacks people or vampires.
Turning into a vampire is also evidently a form of birth control, so now Edward and Bella can go at it without fear of procreating. This makes the version screened at Indian cinemas a deal shorter than that which hit theatres in the rest of the world, I’m told. Thank God for small mercies. When they’re not breaking furniture in the throes of carnal satiation and dashing through forests in pursuit of prey, they drink blood and play piano with a fuzzy joint family that could inspire Kyunki Vampire Bhi Kabhi Aurat Thi.
Their little daughter Reneesme (Mackenzie Foy) is the object of a paedophilic werewolf’s attention, but the werewolf – who once fancied her mother – doubles as her protector, and calls her “Nessie”. This serves as grounds for more rage for Bella, and elicits more “awww” from Edward, but everything goes back to normal with piano and blood. Till Irina (Maggie Grace) rats them out to the Volturi, headed by Aro (Michael Sheen).
What follows is a nauseating mix of more vampire romance, cringe-inducing dialogue, and a climax that’s let down by a twist. Here’s how the battle scene plays out. Think of any Indian movie from the Seventies. Replace Maa with Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli). Bingo. The filmmakers highlight their obliviousness to all things believable by taking us to an Egypt that has Devanagari signboards.
The Verdict: The haunting music of Alexandre Desplat, the brilliant performance of Michael Sheen, and the gorgeous landscape are out of place in this travesty of fantasy.


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