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February 7, 2002

Belated FotR Review
Ken N.

I have been reading both the criticisms and praise for the movie and how characters, scenery, plot, etc. were converted from a novel that advances it's plot through narration to a movie that of necessity carries the plot through it's dialogue. Writing a successful script from a book like that is very difficult and while I agree that the many changes were hard to swallow as a Tolkien fan, I think that PJ has done exactly what he should by directing the movie to attract the greatest number of people possible. Despite our purist hearts, this is business and New Line went out on a huge limb to fund a movie that, if it flopped, would severely damage this smaller movie company. Let me touch on why I think it should work for everyone. Anyone who has not read the books will be able to follow the plot of the movie quite easily and be sufficiently entertained despite the length. For the infrequent reader, PJ has included things like additional history and names that are important but could have been left out if he wanted to completely prostitute the original story. For the more avid reader, he included small things like when in Rivendell, Sam made reference to having forgotten something (rope-you never know when you will need a bit of rope) as he was packing his backpack. Another example was when Frodo first saw Arwen as a brilliant being (the way anyone in the shadow would see her-Frodo did as he was in the process), then the view changed to how the rest of the company saw her, with eyes from Middle Earth. The movie had a number of these small additions that many viewers wouldn't pick up on. Understand that there is no way PJ could have kept everything true to the books (as a pure heart would have wanted it)or he would have eliminated part of his audience. Instead, he had to invent ways to appeal to all the layers from new to seasoned Tolkien fans. If the movie does nothing more than to inspire viewers to become readers of the trilogy then I am satisfied.

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