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Monday, February 14, 2005


Ever so often, one gets a must-do opinion that could be fatal or foolhardy to ignore, and inevitably one is inveigled noiselessly to the clamour only to find that following one’s instincts was the wisest way to go, this time and all times after that.

Having read through at least a couple of the Tolkien tomes, thought I’d take a chance with LOTR:TFOTR . It was a gambling adjudication that was primarily based upon my having the OST for the film for over two years, which in turn was based on my need to hear more of Enya, which …… OK, it’s not as rational as it seems.
The far more sinister variable was that the always-waning balance between my limited attention span (some congenital learning disability) , the lengths to which Peter Jackson would gasconade NZ, and my diminishing faith in my ability to get up at 0400 hours and take the Killer bird to Madras. Was going to be stretched to the limit.

Alas, my review will go the way of my Harry Potter film review, with the significant difference that I liked the book.

For starters, and not the other way around, the film was interminably and inexplicably long. The book weighed a tonne, and the film is an effort fraught with faultless fealty. As most screen adaptations will know, the extents to which a reader’s imagination can be called upon are limitless. Jackson flounders—appalling and repugnant apparitions all right, but not moving. The tale itself meanders along and one is left unclear as to from whose point the tale is being told. The Golden Ratio about human heights comes unstuck and nary a moment does the viewer relate to the Baggins as physically challenged creatures.

To bring alive a scant plot high on fantasy and setting, the director needed to expend much more effort on characterization, “humanization” , motive , and all that. Instead, he perceptibly hopes his visuals and SFX will bail him out—they did, as far as the Oscars were concerned. The turmoil in Frodo Baggins’ mind, his dumbfounded mind laden with vexatious thoughts, his need to do “the right thing” are ignored, and what one gets is a Kurosawa-esque band of brothers who are heartrendingly listless and wooden. Their own personas are sketchy in the extreme too, and the film falls like a house of cards.

No that there were no positives; the cinematography was a delight to behold, and scene after spectacular scene provided the backdrop for this Middle Earth saga. Lush, verdant and inviting.

Could say that Shore did a good job on the music too, I’ll forgive May It Be playing in the end credits for now.

And to think there are two more on the same lines. Chilling !

Mornië ut¨²lië

Mornië alantië


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