Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Lord of the Rings

a film trilogy by Peter Jackson
“I think Mr. C.S. Lewis is a very good writer. But he has one failing. There are no funny bits in his books.”
“You are right there,” Miss Honey said.
“There aren’t many funny bits in Mr. Tolkien either,” Matilda said.

I cannot agree more with Roald Dahl’s heroine. With all due respect, J.R.R. Tolkien is not funny. Of course, Peter Jackson’s trilogy has some incredibly cool battle scenes, but I wouldn’t want to watch it more than once if not for humour that is sorely missing from the book. Alas, a lot of material, including some really funny episodes, did not make into theatrical release. To fully appreciate the LotR movies, you have to watch this extended edition. It will take 11 hours to sit through the six DVDs though.

Make no mistake: LotR has some of greatest as well as some of most embarrassing moments in modern cinema. The latter include the silly battle-cum-break-dance between two elderly wizards in The Fellowship of the Ring; Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) singing in The Return of the King; and almost every scene involving Frodo (Elijah Wood). Throughout the movies, Frodo cycles between three equally creepy states: distressed and agitated; rolling his blue eyes (otherwise doing nothing); and smiling while thinking about the Shire (and doing nothing). Yuck! His sidekick Sam (Sean Astin) is marginally better, although by the third film he becomes as unbearable as Frodo. Most probably because, as we know, he’s always stuffing his face when Master’s not looking.

On the contrary, Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd — I love his accent) are there to provide comic relief, as well as some real action. Ditto Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), always in competition with Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Gandalf (Ian McKellen) appears to have a good sense of humour too (“Do not mention Frodo, or the Ring. And say nothing of Aragorn either. In fact, it’s better if you don’t speak at all, Peregrin Took”). However, my absolutely favourite character is Gollum/Sméagol (Andy Serkis). I am looking forward to his reappearance in The Hobbit.

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