Sunday, December 21, 2003

Saw It!

Just got back from RotK. I'm not remotely up to anything resembling a coherent review, so I'll just say that I went in expecting something exciting and moving and satisfying, and I was not disappointed.

I do have a few entirely random thoughts, though... (Warning: Contains vague-ish movie spoilers.):

  • I found it hard to credit, but the reviewers were right: the battle of Minas Tirith makes Helm's Deep look like a Sunday school picnic. Absolutely spectacular. And I say this as someone who usually tends to go glassy-eyed at battle scenes.

  • It was nice to finally see Andy Serkis' face on the screen, and I do think the potted history of Gollum was a good way to start out the movie. Speaking of Gollum, for a guy who's spent the last half a millennium or so living alone in a cave, he's got some amazing psychological manipulation skills.

  • Eowyn kicks ass! So does Gandalf. And so does Sam, for that matter, when you get him really pissed off. Of course, if you ask me, Sam rocks utterly just by virtue of being Sam. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you have to pick out just one character who's the true hero of the story, it's gotta be Sam.

  • Gimli completely cracks me up. He gets all the best lines in this one!

  • I think the decision not to include the Scouring of the Shire in the story was a sound one. It would have been anticlimactic, and the return at the end to a Shire effectively untouched and unaware of larger events actually does hit exactly the right kind of emotional and thematic notes. If I were feeling particularly deep, I could probably talk for quite a while about Joseph Campbell and traditional heroic myth-patterns, and how well the movie captures the idea of a hero who returns to the place he's fought for so changed by his experiences that he no longer truly belongs there. But I'm way too sleepy for that stuff at the moment.

  • It may sound a bit odd to put it this way, but I honestly do regard the story of Sam and Frodo as one of the great love stories of our time. That it's a Platonic love story (and, the salacious speculations of a thousand fans notwithstanding, I think it pretty clearly is) doesn't change that fact one whit.

  • Yes, I did get teary-eyed by the end. Which wasn't exactly unexpected, as my most vivid memory of reading the books (lo these many years ago now) is of crying so hard at the end that the words became entirely too blurred to read. Sentimental sap that I am. Actually, I was doing pretty good at the movie, right up until the point where Sam started talking about strawberries. That just really got to me for some reason, and it became decidedly difficult to keep the ol' eyes dry thereafter. Stupid strawberries.

  • OK, surely I cannot be the only one whose first thought, upon seeing Sam and Frodo disguised in Orc costumes, was "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper." Can I?

  • I love the fact that so many of the characters (including, at various points, most of our heroes) spend much of the movie looking absolutely terrified. It adds quite an element of realism to the whole thing. And it's not just that... I think that one of the repeated themes of the story as a whole is that of the nobility of being willing to do desperate, near-hopeless, possibly-suicidal things simply because they are the things that need to be done if there is to be any hope at all. And having people who actually look like they're expecting to die at any moment really serves to highlight that, rather than to diminish it.

  • There was so much else going on that I didn't really miss seeing Saruman at all, but I do think it's a pity he was cut, if only because Christopher Lee is so darned cool. Sigh. I have to wait how long for the extended edition, now?
  • No comments:

    Post a Comment