Thursday, January 11, 2007

Does this mean "The Hobbit" might


actually be faithful to the storlyline of Tolkein's book? Says here that Bob Shaye, head of New Line Cinema, is unequivocal in stating that Peter Jackson will not direct New Line's production of "The Hobbit".

Jackson is suing New Line for allegedly misreporting revenues in order to keep from paying him his contractual share. According to Variety, Shaye stated that Jackson "will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again" as long as Shaye works at the company.

Well, ok. These things happen. I can see both their viewpoints. Apparently a lot of Rings-heads see this as a very bad thing. But, as a huge fan of Tolkien's books, I have mixed feelings about this, and tend to think that maybe it's a good thing.

Why? Because while I appreciate Jackson's contribution in bringing Lord of the Rings to the big screen, and while I recognize that there's a lot to like about the movies, Peter Jackson is on my all-time shitlist for what he did to the story in The Return of the King.

Forgive me if I go into to much detail here, but I've been wanting to get this off my chest for a while now:

Back when these movies came out, I was a cinema-phobe. I love movies and always have, but for several years there I was unable to attend movies in the theater. I could not get past being packed into a room with a bunch of snivelling kids, loud-talkers, seat-stealers, fucktards who can't turn off their cellphones, drug-dealer wannabes with their pagers blowin' up, and on and on.

So the way I watched movies was to wait until the DVDs came out. This was hard for me to do sometimes, and especially when the Fellowship of the Ring came out. But I just couldn't go to the theater, so I waited until the DVD came out, bought it that same day, and watched it as soon as I got home. I thought it was phenomenal. Then I bought the 4-disc collector's edition. I then repeated this process with The Two Towers. Again, phenomenal.

But, when The Return of the King came out, I bought it the day it was released, went home and watched it right away. Phenomenal... for the first half hour. Then bleakness set in. This is the part of the movie where Faramir, brother of fellowship member Boromir, takes Frodo and Sam to his hideout behind the waterfall. Certain events then take place wherein Faramir discovers the existence of The Ring and its importance. This takes place in the movie and the book.

But that's where things go wrong. In the book (which is actually in The Two Towers), Faramir becomes stern and frightens Frodo and Sam when he learns of The Ring. But he does this only momentarily, perhaps to impress upon them the dangers of carelessness. He then says "not if I found it on the highway would I take it." He says that he is not a man who desires such a thing, but that he is a man "wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee." This is a stunning scene. Faramir assures Frodo and Sam that not only will he refrain from robbing them of The Ring, but that he will do all that he can to further their quest.

Tolkien wrote Faramir as one of the wisest, bravest, and most honorable characters in an epic story full of wise, brave, and honorable characters. Further, he is used to set up a dichotomy between himself and his brother. Boromir is a man of action; a warrior with a shoot-first disposition. He is impatient and does not believe in parleys, or councils, or drawn-out decisionmaking. He is physically brave, but also has a certain weakness of character and a lack of self-control. Faramir is thoughtful and intellectually inclined. He is reserved; a scholar who believes in only well-considered action. He is also physically brave, and an accomplished fighter, but he is patient and has iron self-control.

In my view, the contrast between these two characters is crucial thematically. It is also a great part of the plot. And Faramir, as noted, is one of the book's greatest characters.

But then, along comes Peter Jackson. In the movie, of course, Faramir turns out to be nothing more than a two bit pirate who kidnaps Frodo, Sam, and The Ring to further his own ends. He proceeds to take into the middle of some battle, where they have to escape from him. Thereby destroying all of the outstanding (and essential) elements noted above.

I find this atrocity of cinematic storytelling to be utterly incomprehensible. I can understand the concept that movies cannot always be faithful to their source material. The change from one medium to the other often necessitates that certain plot elements be modified for many different reasons. In this particular case, no such reason exists. None whatsoever. It is an abomination. It ruined the entire trilogy. It is a disgrace -- nay, a fiendish depravity -- possibly without par in cinematic history.

To this day my two 4-disc collector sets sit on my shelf. They will never be joined by a third.

3 comments:

Kingfish said...

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c47/DecaturKingfish/020303.gif

I believe this applies here. It is hosted on my photobucket. Its a multi rip.

comment4U said...

I hate it when a movie storyline deviates from the book.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't understand why they changed that either, but I didn't let it ruin the whole 10 hours worth (or whatever) of movie. Maybe you could just fast forward around that & pretend it was right.