June 20, 2001

Woe and Doom
Jose Van der H.

I only occasionally get to read the articles submitted here, and so far, the main worry of the people submitting one seems to have to do with casting. This is really becoming very tedious: no actor will ever meet the excessively high standards imposed on would-be Aragons or Eowyns or Frodos. The only thing we can do is hope for the best: maybe the actors will be able to make the audience believe they are in the story as such. As if renowned actors couldn't make a mess of things! And let's be honest: for those of us who have seen Bakshi's animated (half) version of LotR, nothing could be more depressing than that. I for one am much looking forward to the end of this year.

As to rating, everybody knows that only barbarians could forbid children (or adults) to watch the Lord of the Rings. And of course, there are such barbarians, and if I'm not mistaken, they reside in the US of A, where they delight in allowing children to see any form of gross violence in movies, but will not have the slightest allusion to sex whatsoever in the movie productions. Not that I advocate a porn version of LotR, but I believe that censorship (what else can you call it?) in this case will have nothing to do with the contents of the movie, and everything with the studio producing it. We all know that the smaller, independant production houses always find it far more difficult to get past the censors than the big studios.

I honestly cannot begin to understand why there should be any discussion on rating, since this is about one of the very few stories that are straightforward enough to be understood by children - conveying at the same time a very "wholesome" kind of moralism - and to be savoured by adults. Denying this to anyone who may understand it would be like cutting chapters from any given history book. The only thing that ought to be questioned here is the hypocrisy and duplicity of the committee(s) deciding about ratings : and as long as those censors remain in office, I'm afraid that a lot of movies will be mutilated or restricted for the good of society.

Of course, Jackson could always include a long wet kiss between Arwen and Eowyn, or Aragon and Legolas, thereby making things easy on everyone : the X-rated Lord of the Rings, one Ring to get them all into bondage.