January 7, 2002
For It Is In My Mind Also
I will soon be seeing the movie for the fourth time and have been watching to see what other movie-goers and fans thought. I'd like to take the time to respond to some of the observations made over the last fortnight.
1. Saruman [PJ Kemp] In the books Saruman is clearly out to grab the ring for himself but I think I saw the same storyline developing in the movie. While atop Orthanc Gandalf clearly reminds Saruman that The Dark Lord '...does not share power.'- putting the idea in his head for '...some better way...' as said in the books. A lot of people have commented on his subservient attitude when he is using the palantir in the movie but, hey, you don't get on the phone to Barad-dur and say, 'Just tell me what you want done, Sauron, until I can get my hands on your Ring and lay the smack down!!!' Of course he would dissemble, as he clearly does in the books, hiding his true intention until he has an army of orcs sworn to serve him alone, who will bring HIM the ringbearer alive and unspoiled. I suspect we will see the development of Saruman's dual treachery more in the next movie.
2. Frodo [PJ Kemp] In the books he sets out at the age of 50 but is described as not having aged outwardly from Bilbo's disappearance [because of the Ring]. PJ clearly decided to omit the 17 years of the story where Frodo is the contended master of Bag End in the interests of building dramatic tension, having Gandalf racing the clock to discover the truth.
3. Charlatanism etc. [Kevin Macl & Dwayne M.] I think this is a little harsh, saying PJ perjured himself. We all knew [I think] that the movies would not, could not transfer exactly to the screen, and I'm pretty sure at least some promo's used the words 'based on'. Tolkien himself, of course, sold the rights to have movies made of the books back in the late 60's. Curiously I'm not sure I agree with Dwayne M. on Tolkien himself enjoying the film, since he was notorious for not enjoying his works being 'interpreted' [as opposed to enjoyed for themselves] by others. He is on record though as saying he himself found many defects in the finished story [see the prologue for the revised addition] so perhaps he would be forgiving of others trying to make his mythology more accessible through cinema.
Let me also say her in response to a far earlier comment that I think Christopher Tolkien is a great man, I cannot thank him enough for his work on expanding our knowledge of Middle Earth by publishing his father's notes and uncompleted stories, and I beleive he is due vast amounts of respect and gratitude, a position which I am CERTAIN his father would agree with.
4. Boromir [Claire B.] I've said it before but I totally agree with Claire. I can best put my feelings into words by paraphrasing Gandalf. "Poor Boromir. I knew that he was in peril of being cast as the villain. But he escaped in the end. I am glad."