Firstly, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost children and loved ones in Connecticut. Friday was a horrible tragedy that will not be soon forgotten, especially for those of us who are teachers and who work with children.
As I mentioned Friday, I did see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey over the weekend. With our Elvish script nail polish still pristine under the countless layers of clear coat and dressed appropriately (my mom in a Thorin’s map shirt and me in my tree of Gondor tee… since no one would sit with me if I wore Hobbit garb or showed off my naturally fuzzy toes), we settled into the theater amid the brave family who decided to watch it with us. Fortunately for them, we’re both introverts who are painfully aware of politeness, so most of our communication was limited to raised eyebrows, smiles, and the occasional whispered word or two.
So here are some Tolkien fan’s thoughts from the newest film from Middle-earth:
Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie! Recently, I finished reading The Hobbit to my husband, and I loved going in with the story so fresh in my memory. It follows the book well, and the divergences from the original storyline are understandable. I also love that the rest of the story — that is, where in the world Gandalf is for half of the book — will finally be revealed in its proper chronological order instead of as a side note in the appendixes of The Return of the King.
While some have complained about the pacing of the film, particularly at the beginning, it didn’t bother me. In many ways, it felt as though Jackson released the “extended version” to theaters instead of making us wait for the DVD (or BluRay, I suppose now). Since I happily sit through all four and a half hours of The Return of the King, I suppose I might be a bit biased, but the more critical family members who were with me didn’t complain about it much (and not just because they knew that their relationship with me would be in jeopardy if they said that they didn’t like it :) ).
If you’ve only watched the films, then you should know that The Lord of the Rings is very different from The Hobbit. The Hobbit, which was written first, was a children’s book and is far more lighthearted than the epic Lord of the Rings. No one is off to save Middle-earth from total destruction; they’re just a company on a quest. The dwarves sing, the goblins are comical, and Elrond smiles. The story itself might not be as grand as The Lord of the Rings, but it is no less a masterpiece.
All in all, I love it. I have a feeling that either the second or the third film will be generally considered the best of the three (it just depends on when certain events happen), but the first installment is all that this fan was hoping for.
Did you watch The Hobbit? What are your feelings about it?