The (Twi)Light at the End of the Tunnel

WARNING: DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN OR PLAN TO NEVER SEE THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART II. YES, THIS POST IS EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE OBSESSED AND THE COULDN’T CARE LESS

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Spoiler alert: They all die.

But really. This was the sole thought running through my mind as I sat in the theatre, with about twenty minutes left in the movie. For a split second I thought I was dreaming. Then I seriously considered walking out. I’ve never really experienced shock before, but this is what I would imagine it would be like.

If you have to seriously consider and ask yourself if you’re being punked, something is either not okay or is completely genius.

But let’s rewind. As has been made obvious by my Twitter posts, current editing of video blog #2, and building excitement from, well, four years ago when I first cracked open Twilight, last night was the midnight (10:00 PM) premiere of Breaking Dawn Part II. I won’t go into my “midnight premiere” experience, as that’s hopefully what the vlog is for, but I will give you my movie review.

The opening credits were abnormally long. This is very frustrating for audiences in a (sold out) theatre who are die hard fans and have been waiting a year (arguably four) for the finale of this saga. I jokingly asked if the movie was so quick it had already ended and we were watching the end credits (to which I got some laughs in response and one very rude “shhhhhh…” I mean, it’s the opening credits with no music, calm down).

Moving on, the first half (or more) of the movie felt like a fast forward, and the first ten minutes felt like a parody. Now, I’m the last person who would make fun of Twilight, and I’ve been brave enough to try to defend it when most people do, but the producers/directors/actors had to have realized that certain plot points were so absurd and ridiculous that the only way to approach it was to make it funny, and I guess it worked. Renesmee was CGI for about half of the movie, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but she did very much resemble a Sim. But then it felt like the entire plot was on fast forward, and that the producers were trying to shove every minute detail from the book into the film and make sure it made it in and was recognized, but the problem with that was they skimmed over everything (even the imprinting, which isn’t my favorite thing but is important and they sort of addressed it once and then it went away, apparently). Almost everything was there, but barely. I much rather they would have chosen some key points and detailed them a bit more. You know those cute little videos where it attempts to explain an entire history or the synopsis of a television show in one minute? That’s what this felt like. I was starting to realize this last movie (not that I expected a lot…it’s my least favorite of all of the books (Part 2 is, Part 1 I like) may not leave me as happy and as satisfied as I presumed. They were obviously double-timing the first half to get to the “big fight scene,” and Wendi was not impressed.

Wendi is not impressed.

Then the last forty-five or so minutes of the movie began.

The well known and well anticipated fight scene (or anti fight scene if you’re going off of the book) was about to begin. I had gone into the movie hearing and knowing that the ending was different than the book ending, but I never expected anything close to what it was.

Instead of peacefully resolving the conflict and moving on to one of my favorite parts of the saga, they actually began to fight. The wolves, Cullens, and Volturi began to physically rip heads off and kill each other, and it was sort of like THIS

I actually said this to my friend sitting next to me to try to relieve the stress/shock/worry/anxiousness/ WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON that was running through my mind. Because ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE, YA’LL. I was starting to full on FREAK OUT, and had to tell myself to

BECAUSE Carlisle’s head got ripped off. Jasper was killed. Edward fell into something resembling a never-ending cliff hole and then magically catapulted out of it. A few wolves died but I had no idea which ones they were. It was complete jungle madness, and it wasn’t going away.

At this point I was somewhat resembling this-

I was grabbing my sister’s arm, trying to process Carlisle and Jasper dying (though, afterthought, Jasper is the most experienced fighter so having him die wasn’t the most realistic move), starting to cry, and asking myself if I was being punked. This had to be fake, this had to be pretend, this was so far off from the book that there was no possible way anybody approved this ending and it was about to end.

It didn’t end. And then I regretfully remembered that the ending was different than the book. I lost it (again), ya’ll.

I couldn’t even watch. My head was in my hands crying while I sat there so utterly confused and upset I didn’t know what to do. I imagine the rest of the audience was the same way, but I was so trapped in my own little confused/panicked/WTF bubble that I didn’t even notice. I leaned over to my (very annoyed-at-me and wanting-me-to-shut-up sister) and whispered, “this better be a vision Alice is having and it better not be real.”

And it wasn’t. It wasn’t real.

It was a vision. A vision meant to throw the entire audience, even the die-hard, know-every-line, obsessed fans for a loop.

And it was genius.

It was scary as hell, and put me on an emotional roller coaster I was definitely not prepared for, but it was genius. And it worked.

The next tears that came were relief. These were also (finally) the expected tears of the evening, as they occurred during the part of the movie I actually knew was coming; Edward reading Bella’s mind for the first time. The clips from all of the past movies replaced the shock and panic I had experienced a mere two minutes ago and replaced it with nostalgia. Because as much as people make fun of me for loving it and mock me for going to midnight premieres instead of partying downtown, this was a huge part of my life, and I hate endings. It wasn’t my favorite movie of all of them, but it wasn’t my least favorite, and the ending did make up for the Speedy Gonzalez that occurred in the whole first half. But then the realization hit that there wouldn’t be a next movie. The four or more years I spent reading, obsessing over, going to midnight premieres for, and being the hormonal, hopeless romantic teen that most of us are about these books and movies was gone, and all I had left was that ending.

And if a movie can change the entire ending while simultaneously keeping it the exact same, I’ll take it.

And the inner Broadway fan within me is all

It is very sad this four or so years of fangirling is coming to an end (though several of my friends will tell you it’s a blessing), but I do still have three movies for The Hunger Games, and that, I feel like, can get me through.

Here’s looking at you, Peeta and Katniss, don’t let me down.

-Wendi

P.S. Video blog #2 coming shortly.

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About Wendi

Welcome to my little, personalized, and (mostly) fun corner of the internet. Whether you're here to read about Broadway, entertainment, or the laughable struggles of a recent college graduate making it out in corporate America, you've come to the right place. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (hook 'em!) with dual degrees in broadcast journalism and theatre, and currently work full time as Director of Regional Marketing for Broadway Across America. My weaknesses are chips and queso, Dance Moms, romantic comedies, photo booths, and show tunes. Resume, writing samples (more serious ones...), and my life story can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendireichstein/.
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