December 7, 2001
Arwen, an Omen of Things to
While everyone expects some changes adapting a movie from a
novel, reasonable people don't expect entire new characters to be created, new plotlines,
and classic moments from the novel to be completely changed to the point they are
unrecognizable. Sadly, all of these things are apparent in the upcoming adaptation of Lord
of the Rings; and most unsetteling is the fact that the vehicle for most of the advance
criticism of the movie is the casting of a 3rd rate actress (Liv Tyler) in a role that is
so obscure in the trilogy (Arwen), the sum-total of verbage Tolkein wrote concerning her
would hardly fill a solitary page in the book.
What's even more puzzeling is why this happened. This ground-breaking and most imaginative
story of the last century apparently wasn't good enough for Hollywood. Some executive
decided there needed to be more women in the movie, and in an instant the climax of Book I
becomes a lewd farce compared to the real spine-tingling conclusion of Faramir and company
charging the Nine Horsemen as he magically stirs the waves into the likeness of elven
soldiers. Now, we are treated to a WWF Smack-downish trash talk from an actress who's
noted more for what she reveals of her body than of her acting ability.
Didn't anyone stop and think about this? Did anyone believe this is an improvement? Or is
this just Hollywood as usual, reducing a great story to tripe trying to cover all the
bases. Good movies make money, not politically correct ones.
Sadly, I must also report that on my local radio station, a movie fan turned critic saw an
advance press showing of the film and found the plot uninteligable. He panned it.
Just when the technology, money, and will all came together to make the Lord of the Rings,
I sadly predict that this adaptation will go down as a mistake. Its just too bad they've
filmed all three already, they won't be able to learn from the colossal blunders that this
This proves that J.K. Rowling had the right idea, never give up creative control. Its a
shame that someone from the Tolkein family did.