December 22, 2001
Cutting vs. Gutting
I saw the film 12/19/01. A real dissappointment. Not so much for the cuts in the story, but for the CHANGES, the big, character altering changes.
Okay, I knew Bombadil was out. I knew Glorfindel was out. I suspected Otho, Lotho, and Lobelia were out... which probably means the Shire need not be scoured at the end of "Return of the King." I can't say I like the cuts, but I can certainly understand the need for brevity.
But why change the nature of so many characters? Elrond seemed down-right mean, completely disdainful of humans, including Aragorn. Gandalf seemed rather confused thru the movie... since when did he defer to Frodo about going through Moria? Since when did Frodo figure out the "Speak friend" riddle? Why the switch regarding Moria, anyway? As Tolkein saw it, Gandalf was always pushing for the Moria route, Aragorn was against it. Why change that? Why set up Gimli's suspicion of Galadriel, and not follow thru with his complete change of heart? Why make Galadriel seem so dangerous? Why was it necessary to give Frodo and Aragorn a "farewell scene," a complete departure from the book?
Did I dislike the cuts? Not nearly so much as I disliked the above changes, and others I haven't mentioned.