Staci Dumoski wrote:
> I have the oppsite opinion. I'd rather Peter Jackson takes what liberties
> he needs to make a good movie, rather than remain utterly faithful to the
> book. What makes the book great is the totality of the work: plot, prose,
> verse, character, background, etc. In translating it to the screen,
> certain elements of this totality will be lost automatically.
The dialogue concerns which elements are essential, very much according
to individual interpretation. I would very much have a problem with
"Arwen as Xena," and would miss Tom Bombadil, though I understand the
impetus to drop him. I don't expect them to follow every scene, but I
do expect that they keep at least the shape of the book, and not put in
scenes that weren't part of Tolkien's work: giving Arwen more to do to
fit a PC agenda, for instance. Hollywood seems to think "Oh, fantasy.
Action scenes, battle, swords, swashbuckle." Or "Oh. Character study.
Kitchen sink drama, wife beating, affairs, weeping." They can't seem to
deal with fantasy which has *both* action and character---which is
exactly what Tolkien does.
> Peter Jackson, as the author of the -film-, has the ability to add his own
> unique dynamic to the story of the Lord of the Rings. I know, I know,
> some people will be offended by what he does, and tear out their hair at
> the changes he made from their "sacred text". But this is a process that
> has been going on for millenia in storytelling. How many times has the
> Arthurian legend been retold, by how many different authors? True, LOTR
> is a bit different, not being a myth or legend of indeterminate origin,
> but I think that it is the natural inclination of storytellers to say to
> themselves, "That's a great story; here's how I'd tell it".
Arthurian myth would be quite strange if the tellers decided to
eliminate the Battle of Badon Hill or put Gwenhwyfar in armor and have
her defend her own honor. Such things could be done, but I would not
(esp. in the second case) call this a "medieval story," but "a modern
re-formulation." The film *First Knight* did precisely something
similar, having Arthur practically give Gwenevere to Lancelot at the
end; it was a dog of a film. Arf, arf.
I could see Peter Jackson making all sorts of changes I could accept,
and realize that a film is largely the director's vision. But I have
the right to decide if his vision matches mine. Admittedly, I can't do
that without watching the film, but I do have the right to make certain
judgments based on info I'm given. I might like for Arwen to have more
to do [in fact, I wanted to know more about her than Tolkien told], but
if I'm reading LOTR, I have to accept that Tolkien just didn't consider
her a major character. There are some powerful female characters in
LOTR; Arwen isn't one of them. Galadriel is. I might want an Arwen
story, write it and get it published, but it won't be by Tolkien. [I
might also get into legal trouble.] I'd consider the movie "LOTR by
JRRT as told by Peter Jackson."
> I do hope, however, that Jackson doesn't change things so much that they
> feel the need to write a new novelization of the movie. :)
Shhh! Don't give these people ideas! :)
BTW, a great job on *Phantastes.* ---djb.