November 13, 2001
There is great conflict in being an enormous fan of literature as well as film. After reading Tolkien's masterpiece numerous times, one is inclined to get attached to certain things, such as the existence of Tom Bombadil. However, to appreciate film, one must realize that it is a medium like no other. Directors are taught from the earliest stages to show instead of tell. The pace of a story, ANY STORY, is a crucial aspect. Allowing Fellowship to play out at a leisurely pace would be devastating to the movie's success. Yes, hardcore fans of the original work would probably love a four hour film, but the majority of attendees (and this includes critics who know what they are talking about) would not. The point in all of this, is that while Tom Bombadil is wonderful part of Tolkien's work, his presence in the film is not only unnecessary but would be detrimental. Jackson has made a wise decision by choosing to make his movie "work". M. Night Shaymalan has said in numerous interviews and commentaries that being a director means having the willpower to cut your favorite scene from the final film. In many ways, this seems to fit the "Fellowship" scenario.