breaking dawn

There is always controversy when movies are adaptations of beloved books or plays. Films such as The Hobbit, which use outside source material to extend a revered original, are dissected as fans determine which moments, if any, should have remained untouched. But I felt nothing but delight with the changes made to Breaking Dawn Part 2. Be warned, I am heading into spoiler territory here so if you haven’t seen the film, quit reading.

Fans of the book are familiar with the scene towards the end of the novel where the Cullen Family, now including Bella as a newly minted vamp, square off against the all powerful vampire coven the Volturi. The book has this moment highlight Bella’s power and also show how her friendship with the Quillet wolf pack pays big dividends by gaining her new family some impressive allies. But Bella’s powers are all defensive; the scene is one where talking – and a minimal show of powers – wins the battle.

While many changes were made to the film the only one that truly affected the quality of the movie was the one surrounding this scene. It added a much needed action sequence to what was almost too much sweetness. I remember the response in the theater – the mutters of anger at the change, the cries of anguish as beloved characters fates were changed before our eyes. The director handled this with such finesse that in the end I was delighted by the changes. I watched that particular scene three times in a row after purchasing the DVD.

It reminded me of other times when I was delighted with the changes made to a book to enhance the move. John Grisham’s The Firm was one such book-movie combo where I felt the movie actually improved portions of the story. I loved the movie Enigma but the novel of the same name by Robert Harris lacked the warmth of the film.
It’s rare for book people to love a movie more than a book or even like it at least as much. When has it happened for you?

-Maggie AAR