Monday, May 22, 2006

Lord of the Rings: Movie Vs the Book

Well, something wonderful happened during my recent trip to Punjab. Something I've been waiting to write about ever since. It was at the wheelers on howrah station, where I went to buy the usual Outlook kinda magazines and suchlike, when suddenly my eyes fell on a fat book sitting next to one by Sidney Sheldon. I promptly rescued JRR Tolkien from this indignity.

Ever since I've been consumed by the Book. Finished it in a week (i know that's not a great feat, but I have a proven track-record to not finish books over 500 pages). Now, I had seen the LOTR movies and was not exactly bowled over as I should've been. I always intended to compare the two, now that I've finally read LOTR (and feel like an authority on it, just like everyone else does after reading it the first time).
So without further ado...

# Where the hell was Tom Bombadil?

# Wherefrom did the company of elves come to aid the seige at Helm's Deep?

# Why was Helm's Deep made into a Battle of Thermopylae kinda situation.

# Deneathor, the steward of Gondor, a character so proud & strong that Gandalf respected him & Sauron had to trick to get into his mind... a complete caricature in the movie. Why Gandalf even strikes Deneathor with his staff! What the...!

# Where were the rest of the Dundain?

# Merry & Pippin. Again caricatures of their characters in the book.

# Eowyn & Theoden have a Hollywood-dialogue. Puhleeez!!

# Gimli, the dwarf was well aware of the fact that Balin's expedition to take the Mines of Moria had perhaps run into grave trouble. Yet in the movie Gimli was shown to be shocked by the very news!

# And the one I simply cannot get over. The last sequence in Return of the King, when Aragorn and company are standing on the gates of Mordor. A shadow passes over Aragorn, before he redeems himself by the now famous lines: "For Frodo...".

What the!! Aragorn was such a behemoth of strength that he'd be the last person who'd have such moments. He looked into the palantir and came out rather unscathed, something even Gandalf was not sure he could do! I mean why ruin characters like this, in the name of adding a little touch of drama!

But... but, having said that I will also say that the movie was one of the better adaptions I had seen. It stayed true to a lot of dialogues in the book... wonderful job was done while creating creatures such as the Orcs, Uraks... Gollum. I mean without having seen the movie I do not know I would've imagined Gollum!

In all, a decent effort. I understand efforts to roll something as huge as LOTR into a movie series, but why the hell would you tamper with the original story! I guess Hollywood cant resist that anyhow!