'Breaking Dawn – Part 2': Why that twist ending is a good thing
'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2' apparently has a (slight) twist ending. Good for the creative team for feeling free to put their own stamp on the story.
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Case in point: the “Harry Potter” films, an almost parallel case in terms of how attached fans are to the books (and a franchise I happen to like a lot more than “Twilight” – sorry, fans). The first two movies in the eight-part series were directed by “Home Alone” helmer Chris Columbus and are fine, but you could almost feel the desperation in “Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets” to pack everything in, make sure no moment was missed, get as close an adaptation as possible.Skip to next paragraph
Molly Driscoll is a Books and the Culture staff writer.
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“Director Chris Columbus vowed to be faithful to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and to a certain extent he is,” USA Today critic Claudia Puig wrote of the first movie. “But one can be faithful to a plot without being faithful to the book. Harry Potter, the film, looks just as dazzling as readers of Rowling's captivating book might hope. But the movie ultimately lacks the book's delightful whimsy and much of the sly verbal humor that made Rowling's tales so charming.”
But then Columbus left after “Secrets,” and the next movie in the series, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” was directed by Alfonso Cuaron. His adaptation just seemed easier, more relaxed – a trend that would continue with the rest of the movies, which were directed by two others (Mike Newell and David Yates) but had a similarly effortless air. Yes, things were left out, and sometimes – gasp – things were even different, such as the way the members of the secret club known as Dumbledore's Army were rounded up by evil headmistress Umbridge in the fifth movie. In the movie, the headmistress and her henchmen make a wall explode, revealing the members inside a hidden room. Did that happen in the book? Nope. Did that look awesome in the movie? Definitely.
Many liberties were also taken with the plot of the eighth movie, which was the second half of the seventh book, but you barely heard a peep about them from fans. Supporting character Lavender Brown, who was attacked by a werewolf but survived in the novel, was killed by the werewolf in the movie, but that showed the cost of the evil attack on the school, one which killed a lot of students. We saw, and didn’t just hear about secondhand, a scene in which two of the main characters, Ron and Hermione, finally got together, and fans literally cheered, because everyone had wanted to see that anyway.
As every book fan who is also a moviegoer knows, literary adaptations have a bad track record. And sure, directors who are given the task of creating an adaptation shouldn’t toss the book away and start throwing whatever they feel like in front of the camera. But a movie is its own entity, not just an extension of the book – or at least, it should be.
So breathe, Twihards. It’s going to be okay.