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RE: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie

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  • Doug Kane
    I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn t say that he specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane treatment of
    Message 1 of 13 , May 13, 2009
      I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn't say that he
      specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane
      treatment of Gollum might help facillitate his finding a cure. He tells
      Frodo that not only did they not kill Gollum, but that the Wood-elves "treat
      him with such kindness as they can find in their wise hearts." Later,
      Legolas clarifies that this was partly because "Gandalf bade us hope still
      for his cure." And, of course, Frodo takes Gandalf's words to him about
      pitying Gollum to heart, and his kind treatment of Gollum due to his pity
      for him was very much instrumental in Gollum's near-redemption (but for
      Sam's failure to follow Frodo's lead in this, as Tolkien discusses in Letter
      246). To me at least, all of this is contradicted at least in spirit by
      Gandalf's flat statement in the "Hunt for Gollum" film that Gollum's
      wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. It reminded me a little bit of
      the argument between Frodo and Sam in the Jackson films in which it seems to
      be implied that Frodo was deluded in believing that he could help Gollum,
      and that Sam was correct in saying that there was no hope of Gollum ever
      finding any redemption. (As an aside, the fact that in the films Frodo's
      desire to help Gollum was actually based on his concern for himself rather
      than actual pity for Gollum misses the point that Tolkien was making, but
      that is another issue altogether.)

      _____

      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      David Bratman
      Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 8:30 PM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] "The Hunt for Gollum" movie





      From: "Doug Kane" <dougkane@protecting
      <mailto:dougkane%40protectingrights.net> rights.net> wrote:

      >But at the end of the film, after Gollum is finally captured, Gandalf tells
      >Aragorn that Gollum's wretchedness was beyond their power to heal. That
      >contradicts what Gandalf actually says in the book, that there is not much
      >hope for his cure, but there is still some.

      I don't remember exactly what the film says, either, but I don't see those
      two points as contradictory. Gandalf says that there is little hope, but
      not no hope, that the evil part of Gollum can be cured; but he doesn't say
      that he can cure him. Gollum has to do that for himself.

      I think of Frodo's comment on Saruman: "He is fallen, and his cure is beyond

      us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it."

      In the end, of course, Frodo's learning the meaning of Bilbo's pity has
      tremendous effects on Gollum; and it is tremendously misleading for
      Amateur-Film-Gandalf to say _only_ that he and Aragorn cannot heal Gollum.
      But I see this as more a sin of omission than of commission.






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Bratman
      ... It does, but I see it as more a contradiction in spirit than a change in the facts of the story. But this difference in our view of it is exceedingly
      Message 2 of 13 , May 14, 2009
        "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...> wrote:

        > I mostly agree with you, David. It is true that Gandalf doesn't say that
        > he
        > specifically can cure Gollum, but he does make it clear that humane
        > treatment of Gollum might help facillitate his finding a cure. He tells
        > Frodo that not only did they not kill Gollum, but that the Wood-elves
        > "treat
        > him with such kindness as they can find in their wise hearts." Later,
        > Legolas clarifies that this was partly because "Gandalf bade us hope still
        > for his cure." And, of course, Frodo takes Gandalf's words to him about
        > pitying Gollum to heart, and his kind treatment of Gollum due to his pity
        > for him was very much instrumental in Gollum's near-redemption (but for
        > Sam's failure to follow Frodo's lead in this, as Tolkien discusses in
        > Letter
        > 246). To me at least, all of this is contradicted at least in spirit by
        > Gandalf's flat statement in the "Hunt for Gollum" film that Gollum's
        > wretchedness was beyond their power to heal.

        It does, but I see it as more a contradiction in spirit than a change in the
        facts of the story. But this difference in our view of it is exceedingly
        minor, and rendered more perilous by the fact that neither of us remembers
        the film's exact wording.

        > It reminded me a little bit of
        > the argument between Frodo and Sam in the Jackson films in which it seems
        > to
        > be implied that Frodo was deluded in believing that he could help Gollum,
        > and that Sam was correct in saying that there was no hope of Gollum ever
        > finding any redemption. (As an aside, the fact that in the films Frodo's
        > desire to help Gollum was actually based on his concern for himself rather
        > than actual pity for Gollum misses the point that Tolkien was making, but
        > that is another issue altogether.)

        Just one, or two, examples of Jackson's massive Not Getting It, so massive
        as to render ludicrous any defense on the grounds that the deviations serve
        the plot of the story he's trying to tell. If he's trying to tell a story
        _that_ different from Tolkien's, it's a grave injury to pretend that it's
        based on Tolkien's in any way, and an insult supreme to be as devoutly
        copying of Tolkien as he was in more surface elements. When Tolkien had the
        trees really march to war, he was _trying_ to thumb his nose at Shakespeare.
        When Jackson thumbs his nose at Tolkien, and does so incompetently, he
        doesn't have that excuse.
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