January 17, 2002
We Would All Love It to be 9 Hours Long
I have just logged in my forth viewing of The Fellowship of the Ring and I, as lifelong fan of the trilogy, must say that, despite the omissions and changes, the entire team on the movie did an amazing and spectacular job. I am surprised by many highly critical messages I have read on this site. It is a movie adaptation after all- not the novel itself. In a perfect world we, as fans of the trilogy, would all have loved The Fellowship itself to be to be nine hours long and adhere almost exactly to the pages written by Tolkien; but, lets get a grip. What studio, however accomodating, would be able to produce such a film? No one would fund it because they would realize that only those of us who love Lord of the Rings, like we love our own lives, would go to see it. So the nine hour initial installment would fail, and we would forever be left to wondering(as I did for 20 some years) what a Lord of the Rings film might be like. So for myself, I am just appreciative of how lovingly this "version" was crafted. How true to form the characters were, and how the film has inspired so many people to read the trilogy for the first time.
Just for the fun of dicussion I don't mind debating the thousand things that are missing from the film, but in the same breath I would also speak of the incredible visual renditions of Rivendell, Moria, Mordor, and Isengard. In my imagination these images were vast and breathtaking but a little sketchy, and I feel that the creators filled in the lines admirably. Arwen was a bit pointless I agree, and could have easily been left out; yes, I would have preferred Frodo to stand up to the Dark Riders at Weathertop, and take a stand at the river; but he was wonderful when he offered to take the Ring at the Council of Elrond; Lothlorien was only touched upon, I agree, but I still have the book and I can go there any time I like. Beggers can't be choosers, but if they could I would choose this "film version" of the Lord of the Rings over no movie at all, or a cheesy one at best. This version was made with love, passion and effort, and, as a television producer/writer/director I know how much effort it takes. It was an E ticket ride in the fullest sense. So, in conclusion I can only say, as a true lover of the books, they captured the jist of the story, and the emotion and message Tolkien intended. They did their best, as it was better than I could have done, or any of us. When asked wyhat to cut and what to save all od our choices would be different. So thank you to the creators for treating something so sacred with a caring hand, and a loving heart. It is a wonderful film, and it doesn't make me love the book any less...it simply inspires me to re-experience the full tale again and again.