Author Topic: The Hobbit ***  (Read 687 times)

Offline gitano1

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The Hobbit ***
« on: March 24, 2013, 04:35:56 PM »
Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy was a phenomenal achievement. He started with the goal of bringing one of the greatest works of literature to the screen without adulterating it. Throughout the three films there is a sense of enormous respect for the original work and a desire to maintain its integrity. Unfortunately, Jackson was not driven by the same goal in producing The Hobbit. In LOTR Jackson may have left out parts which were not totally essential to the narrative, but he added nothing that was not in the text. In The Hobbit he and his fellow screenwriters have taken an enormous amount of liberty in adding material never part of the original book. He has cheapened and vulgarized a superb work of fiction. One can only guess at the motivation.
I have read The Hobbit four or five times over the years. I am very familiar with the sequence of action and the characters. There was certainly nothing that needed to be added. Like LOTR there were likely sequences that could have been left out of a film, but it did not need any inane additions to create a greater link to LOTR. There are certainly elements in it, like the corruption of Saruman and the return of Sauron, that do not belong in The Hobbit. These are elements that have no part in The Hobbit which is a very different story. What links to the two tales is the ring itself, and that it enough. Had Tolkien wanted to make the link greater, he would have done it. It didn’t require third rate screen writers to gild the lily, as it were.
To tell the tale of The Hobbit on screen, and give it the attention to detail that LOTR had wasn’t possible in a single film. Two would likely have done it. For some reason Jackson decided to push three films, and had to add a bunch of extraneous, ill-conceived, and, in truth, hackneyed garbage to the story in order to get enough to run it out to three films. To my mind, it is as though Roman Polanski added a few lines and couple of scenes to his version of MacBeth that weren’t in Shakespeare’s original. Fortunately, he didn’t, and neither should Jackson have taken that liberty. It is, in a word, sacrilege.
Now that I have that off of my chest, the film has other problems. It is as much an animated feature as it is live action. Many of the animated scenes are cartoonish and lack the more serious special effects that were used in LOTR. It make the film far less effective. It all feels like a lot less attention was paid to keeping the integrity of the original work intact.
Had Jackson merely told the story as it was written, not tried to achieve some unspecified goal, he would have had a successful film. As it turns out, what he has is a very sad failure to achieve anything more than the cartoon version of The Hobbit done several years ago.
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