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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit: The problem with adaptation...: Edit Log



moreorless
Gondor

Dec 18 2013, 9:18am


Views: 1140
The problem with adaptation...


In Reply To
After reading spoilers before seeing the film and expecting a disappointment, the film turned out to be better than I expected.

I feel that most of the film up to Lake-Town feels rushed and then begins to drag from then onwards. I was really disappointed by how little Bilbo is in the film with dialogue, nowhere near enough, particularly when you have Martin Freeman who is so good in the role.
Beorn felt rushed, Mirkwood and Spiders felt rushed. The Spiders sequence is my favourite in the book and because Bilbo found his courage in the first film, the importance of this scene is greatly diminished, plus naming sting could've been done so much better. The elves fighting off the spiders was disappointing too. I am not keen on Thranduil's scar either, but otherwise I thought he was portrayed well. I was expecting a disaster with Tauriel and while I wasn't keen on the romantic elements, she was a bit better than I expected (Evangeline Lily did an okay job). The fight scenes are still way over the top and too long. I enjoyed the expansion of Bard and was genuinely impressed by Luke Evans. I wasn't satisfied with the way they found the secret door and wished there was more time spent outside the mountain. The scene between Bilbo and Smaug started out well (although changes to dialogue were not appreciated) until the Dwarves came storming in and it became a ridiculous hollywood action scene. This scene was a disaster and was the major weakness of the film. Smaug though is by far the best CG Character I have ever seen and Benedict does an incredible voice and motion capture. The fighting in Lake-Town was also unnecessary and boring.

I wasn't bothered too much by the Dol Guldur storyline, though Gandalf is again defeated without trouble.

Overall the film feels very far from the book. It is more inspired by than adapted from the book.

As a Film itself it is decent, but it is disappointing that the book I love so much has been cut and changed so drastically.


I can certainly understand the disappointment with the changes but I'd argue some of your other points highlight why changes were needed.

Tolkiens book for me is a much more obviously "literary" work than LOTR. A great deal of what makes it an entertaining read for adults and children is IMHO the charm of the prose, the sense of an old storyteller with a keen wit telling the tale. The style of the prose also of course means that it can keep the story moving along at fast pace.

Carrying that onto the screen is I'd say next to impossible and leaves your with a story that's much less obviously cinematic. Almost all of the events of LOTR serve a very clear purpose in devolping the characters involved, within the Hobbit though "Bilbo learning to be a hero" is really the only theme for most of the first 2/3rds of the book. Theres only so many times you can go back to this theme before it starts to become dull.

Now Jackson has taken Tolkiens strongest scenes from the book such as the unexpected party, Gollum and the conversation with Smaug and has pushed them for all there worth giving them room to breath. Elsewhere though I actually think the scenes he's invented(Azog, the Smaug confrontation) carry more emotional weight that much of what he's adapted from the page. Within Thorin especially I do find it hard to be too critical of any changes, to me Jackson has created a very "tolkienesque" character, he actually reminds me a good deal of book Denethor in that his obvious bravey and intelligence are damaged by arrogance and hubris.


(This post was edited by moreorless on Dec 18 2013, 9:25am)


Edit Log:
Post edited by moreorless (Gondor) on Dec 18 2013, 9:18am
Post edited by moreorless (Gondor) on Dec 18 2013, 9:19am
Post edited by moreorless (Gondor) on Dec 18 2013, 9:20am
Post edited by moreorless (Gondor) on Dec 18 2013, 9:22am
Post edited by moreorless (Gondor) on Dec 18 2013, 9:24am
Post edited by moreorless (Gondor) on Dec 18 2013, 9:25am


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