I had been looking forward to watching The Hobbit ever since I heard that it would be made into a movie. I even made myself read the book which…I didn’t really like. It lacked the complexity I expected and felt a bit too neat. However, I love Lord of the Rings. All three of them. And I will confess that I haven’t read those books either. Atrocious, I know, but in my defense, I just don’t gel with Tolkien’s writing. His hobbits sing way too much and my patience with singing hobbits is well…small. I went into the movie fairly confident that I would like it and I walked out very satisfied. I know that there are plenty purists who dislike the way Jackson has envisioned and expressed his interpretation of Tolkien’s masterpiece, but I liked what he did.
I watched the movie in 3D in the fancy new 48 fps and initially, it was a bit unsettling. What it does, as my friend stated, is make the landscape look less like the landscape in a far off world where magical things happen and Orcs run wild but more like this place that totally exists in this world that you are a part of. It’s a bit eerie, the realism that it gives the movie. Returning to the shire was amazing and I loved how the first part of the movie is the first part of the LotR. Seeing Frodo’s bright blue eyes again totally made me want to come home and do a LotR marathon. Martin Freeman is amazing as Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage as Thorin. More on him later. Freeman tackles this role with such an ease, such grace that it seems he is Bilbo and exactly as I pictured him in my mind when reading the book.
I know that some people said there were no distinguishing characteristics between the dwarves but I didn’t have that problem. Their physical characteristics are distinguishing enough and they had little quirks that individualizes them. In Thorin, the dwarf leader, Tolkien gives us an anti-hero and Jackson does a good job in creating a character that is not at all like the noble and sacrificing Aragon. Richard Armitage’s performance is amazing. I mean, the man is pretty delicious to look at (even with the beard and the mustache) and his proud, almost haughty, mien is very true to character and foreshadows the denouement of the trilogy. Gandalf is pretty fun and it was amazing to be back in the Middle World after an extended break.
My favourite scene was the one between Gollum and Bilbo Baggins. I loved how the entire scene unfolds and that mercy Bilbo shows Gollum. Where LotR was tense almost entirely, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, The Hobbit is not. It lacks the tension and the whole saving the world mentality. It’s much lighter in tone. I did like the insertion of the Necromancer and Galadrial is like poetry, the grace and beauty with which she appears on screen. My friend tells me that there will be a battle scene where Galadrial will lead the fight and that is so awesome to contemplate. The movie is not perfect, of course, there is that completely mind boggling scene at the end that I could have done without and makes no sense when you think about it but the good outweighs the bad. Lee Pace’s 2 second appearance as the haughty elf who refuses to help the dwarfs, the pretty dwarfs being all pretty, the cinematography and Rivendell. I can’t wait for movie two.