The LOTR Movie Site
February 2, 2000
The Movies in GeneralAnonymous
The way that I see Tolkien's work is that it is more than a
story, more than a couple books. Tolkien takes us all back to when one of the old men of a
tribe would sit everyone down in front of a campfire and spin magnificent tales, sagas of
heroism, tragedy, and beauty. I don't think that any sort of film will ever manage to
capture that feeling. I have nothing against films. I think that they can express a great
deal of emotion, but in no way will a film ever be able to express the same emotions in
the same way as they are expressed in "The Lord of the Rings".
What Tolkien laid out was a tale, something to read late at
night while listening to soft music, or by the light of a fireplace, it was not something
that could ever be conveyed through a theatre, with popcorn and gum stuck to the seats.
"The Lord of the Rings" is great because it is a work of imagination, when
people see pictures of the characters on the screen, they will not imagine those
characters, they will accept what they have seen, and thus limit their perception of the
movie to another's imagination, and the technical limitations of shooting a film.
I have read that Gandalf beard is going to be trimmed because
it was too large and unwieldy. Would you get the same feeling watching the movie and
seeing Gandalf with his small more realistic beard as reading the book, and visualizing
magnificent whiskers extending down his chest? Would it be anywhere near the same feeling?
As for the whole Arwen controversy, I think that they are
totally messing up who she is, and they are degrading her, not making her more of a
woman's equality figure. In the books Arwen is gentle, beautiful, and wise, but she is
above all not a combat figure. How would you react to Elrond taking up arms and going off
to battle? Arwen is no more a warrior than Elrond is, she is another master of magic, of
peace, of defense and building. This does not make her any less than any of the warriors
that fought on the Pellenor Fields, she is merely different. She is a figure of beauty and
peace, not of war.
On the Bombadil issue: it is perfectly understandable why he
was cut from the films. He does not contribute to the plot at all, he does not advance the
story, he just is, with no explanation, no real reason. Cutting him, however, is just
cutting one more thing that was beautiful from "The Lord of the Rings". This is
why the film format is unsuitable for the story, because things are going to be cut, and
every time that something is cut or changed, the story is diminished from its original
form. Tolkien himself revered the things that were older and truer in his writings. This
movie will end up as the kingdom of Gondor in the shadow of Numenor, and would Gondor be
even bothered with if one had Numenor?