December 23, 2001
A Brief Review
I have now seen FotR twice, and both times I have come out of the theater with two distinct opinions of it.
The first opinion, which I will deal with second, deals with my impression of the movie as compared to the book. The second, which I will discuss first, deals with my impression of the movie as it stands on its own, without any comparison to the book.
For brevity's sake, as well as the sake of those who have not seen the movie, I will make this part (and probably the other part too) as brief as possible.
For starters, FotR as a movie, was one of the best movies I have ever seen. The acting, the plot, the music, the scenery, the special effects, everything was extremely well done.
There were a couple of scenes that seemed to be straight out of Star Wars and couple of cheesy lines, and it was also almost impossible to take Hugo Weaving seriously (all I'll say by way of explanation is that Keanu reeves could have destroyed the One Ring), but they did not do much to detract from the overall quality of the movie.
That said, I will now attempt to address the movie as it compares to the book.
First of all, in spite of the criticisms that I will levy here or leave out to cut down on the length of this review, the basic plot essentially true to the book.
Still, I had a number of issues with the moive as it compares to the book. The first, and most glaring, is the fact that they cut out at least 25-30% of the book, probably more when you consider the fact that they flat out eliminated 3 chapters, all of the songs and poems, took out most of the material from the Lorien chapters, the Rivendell chapters, the Bree chapters, the journey to Rivendell, the journey from Rivendell to Moria, and the trip down Anduin.
PJ misconstrued Saruman's treason, making him a willing servant of Sauron, when he really thought he was being ckever, trying to use Sauron's own tools against him. Also, he made Saruman too omniscient and gave him too much control over the elements.
The Council of Elrond was a farce.
Dialogue from A Shadow of the Past was moved to the journey through Moria.
The parts of the story that take place in Lorien are largely deleted.
I won't even go into Xena the Elfin-princess.
Portraying Aragorn as someone trying to escape his lineage was a big mistake.
The Breaking of the Fellowship was a horrible representation of what happened in the book (the battle scene was great, but the knowlegde of the entire Fellowship that Frodo intends to go on alone ruins it).
Aragorn's pep talk at the end was cheesy.
Saruman's education of his Uruk-Hai chief was cheesy.
Elrond's contempt towards everyone but the Elves is out of character.
Galadriel seems to be an apparition or alien, rather than an Elf-Queen.
There are others, but I don't want to ruin the movie too much, and I've carried on long enough. So, I'll end the way I began: by saying that the movie is great and I highly recommend it.