I love reading Tolkein's work. "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the
Rings" are well used in my house. I have several copies of each in
paper and hardback. Until the movies, I read them every other year at
least. When the first hint of Autumn weather hits, that is the time to
read both books!
But I decided not to read them again until I saw all three of Peter
Jackson's movies. Too often the translation form page to screen is
jarring and disappointing. Take the Harry Potter movies as an example.
Great books but mediocre movies. By "Great" I mean "enjoyable" and
"entertaining". I do not put them in a class anywhere near Tolkien's
masterpieces. But you get the idea.
I have just finished reading the books again - after seeing the
movies. And I must say that I enjoy both! In fact, I find that one
enhances the other.
While reading I was amazed to see how much of the text made it into
the movie. Many lines in the movie are word-for-word right from the
page. Sometimes spoken by someone else - but spoken well and enhancing
the tension etc on-screen.
Dunharrow. The steep zig-zag path up the mountain and the Pukel men is
there on the page AND on the screen. I had forgotten all about it. I
thought Jackson had goofed. But he got it right.
The "telepathy" between the elves was an invention for the movie I
thought. But it is there on the page! When Gandalf and the elves
escort the hobbits back home they sit as still as statues and talk
mind-to-mind long into the night.
The opening speech of Galadriel at the beginning of "The Fellowship"
about a change in the air and in the water is said by Treebeard when
he greets Galadriel and the others as they take the hobbits home.
Pippin's song in Gondor was written by Bilbo and mentioned in the text
of "The Fellowship".
Frodo being "called" at the bridge of Minas Morgul. Sam and Gollum had
to drag him away in print and on screen.
Boromir's "fear and doubt over so small a thing".
I could go on...
I am sure that this is not new to this Group. But I have come late to
the party and thought it worthy of mention.
But what gets me is not what Jackson did differently in his movies, it
is what he gets right word-for-word in the visuals, the actions and
the lines that you see and hear in the theater. I expect movies to be
different from the books that inpire them. In most cases they are
VASTLY and disappointingly different. But it is obvious that Peter
Jackson and his actors and crew love these books as much as we do. How
else could they come so close?
Can't wait for the extended version of "Return of the King"!