Saturday, December 20, 2014
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
It is a strange thing to finish something that I first fell in love with when I was fourteen. Like almost every other American, I headed to the theater last Wednesday to watch The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. The only problem is that I'm now perplexed. It didn't raise a single tear. I disconnected emotionally from everyone except Bilbo, so when everyone else in the theater is sniffling and weeping, I'm sitting there stoically calm, unmoved by everything except some of Bilbo's emotional reactions.
It's sad. Really, it is because I love this story. I've loved The Hobbit since the moment I first picked up the book. It's an incredible and imaginative tale of adventure and daring-do, with a highly courageous and blunt hobbit at the head. So why didn't this final movie impress me? I suppose I could spend time pondering and rehashing and tearing down, but I won't. I'd like to think that the fans, even the diehard ones, see the flaws and don't need me to remind them. I remember my frustrations with The Two Towers, its plot deviations and insanity, so this feeling is really nothing new. And it may change the next time I see this final installment.
All I can say is that I wish Peter Jackson had just told the story the way Tolkien wrote it. I can understand Christopher Tolkien's frustrations with the movies. I truly can, and I feel sorry for him, almost wishing I could apologize to him for all the changes made to his father's story. I'm not saying The Hobbit was butchered, I promise, what I am saying is that Peter Jackson added so much of his own storyline in the last two movies that there is very little of the original plot left. Even the dialogue is different in most cases, so radically different that when Tolkien's dialogue is used, it feels out of place. That's never a good thing.
Like I said, my opinion may change with a second viewing. I might decide that I like it, I might let the emotional reactions in, I might even be able to stop rolling my eyes at Kili and Tauriel. We'll see what happens.