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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Was Beorn's depiction too serious?

AshNazg
Gondor


Jun 25 2017, 10:56am

Post #1 of 13 (4573 views)
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Was Beorn's depiction too serious? Can't Post

I think Beorn is a really big problem in film 2. I do love the mysterious and sombre depiction of Beorn as this tortured lonely character, his design and performance in the movies is really spot-on and reminds me of some of the darker traits to Beorn in the books. So I'm not saying they did Beorn WRONG...

However, when we look at his context in the story, the film opens with a rather lengthy, foreboding conversation in Bree. We then have this dark intro leading into a scary bear chase, and then some serious stuff with Azog and The Necromancer and Bolg.

At this point the audience is feeling pretty bogged down, and I personally think it would have been better to depict the human Beorn as more of a colourful Tom Bombadil character, with singing and jokes and even animals laying the tables comically, to lift the energy a bit. I really think this could have improved the overall flow of film 2, having this light-hearted rest before moving on to the darker atmosphere in Mirkwood.

I have a feeling that PJ came to the same conclusion, which is why so much of Beorn was edited out. Beorn was designed for film 1, and I think if the 3-film structure was set earlier on we probably would have gotten a much more fun Beorn, and a much richer contrast of tone throughout the film, instead of the dark, slow fatigue we got going into Mirkwood Unsure

Does that make sense?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 25 2017, 1:34pm

Post #2 of 13 (4520 views)
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Too serious? Maybe. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do think that Beorn could have benefited from lightening up a bit once he allowed the company into his home; not to the degree that you suggest, but some display of humor and good cheer might have been welcomed by many of us. I do think that it was a good call to not include Beorn's animals literally serving dinner to the company.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 25 2017, 1:34pm

Post #3 of 13 (4517 views)
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Too serious? Maybe. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do think that Beorn could have benefited from lightening up a bit once he allowed the company into his home; not to the degree that you suggest, but some display of humor and good cheer might have been welcomed by many of us. I do think that it was a good call to not include Beorn's animals literally serving dinner to the company.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 25 2017, 9:08pm

Post #4 of 13 (4484 views)
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I wouldn't have wanted the animals [In reply to] Can't Post

and I'm not sure that having Beorn singing & dancing around would have worked, either. One of the complaints about AUJ (which I don't take seriously, but nonetheless) is that there was no real sense of danger. Maybe there was a little too much slapstick in the Goblin tunnels. Further, as the book progressed the story did get darker and scarier. The emphasis was on how scary and dangerous Mirkwood had become, and how their quest really was perilous. Finally, Beorn was a furious force of nature who could be credited with single-handedly turning the tide in the Battle of 5 Armies. Not sure that would be taken seriously if we'd seen him singing & dancing around. From what I understand, the scenes that got cut were Beorn getting tortured, and I wouldn't have wanted to see that either. The biggest problem for alot of people was that there wasn't more of Beorn, serious or otherwise (don't really recall him being a fun character in the book, anyway).

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


Noria
Gondor

Jun 27 2017, 12:15pm

Post #5 of 13 (4383 views)
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As Kilidoescartwheels says [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
and I'm not sure that having Beorn singing & dancing around would have worked, either. One of the complaints about AUJ (which I don't take seriously, but nonetheless) is that there was no real sense of danger. Maybe there was a little too much slapstick in the Goblin tunnels. Further, as the book progressed the story did get darker and scarier. The emphasis was on how scary and dangerous Mirkwood had become, and how their quest really was perilous. Finally, Beorn was a furious force of nature who could be credited with single-handedly turning the tide in the Battle of 5 Armies. Not sure that would be taken seriously if we'd seen him singing & dancing around. From what I understand, the scenes that got cut were Beorn getting tortured, and I wouldn't have wanted to see that either. The biggest problem for alot of people was that there wasn't more of Beorn, serious or otherwise (don't really recall him being a fun character in the book, anyway).


I agree with all of this.

Serving animals would have seriously damaged the movie for me. I love Tom Bombadil in the book but think it would have been hard to make him anything but ridiculous in a movie. So to make Beorn into some sort of Bombadil would have been disastrous, IMO.

I found Beorn slightly amusing the way he was, particularly in his interactions with the Dwarves. That whole episode, though serious, was none-the-less a respite from the escalating darkness of DOS. It worked for me.


wizzardly
Rohan


Jun 27 2017, 6:03pm

Post #6 of 13 (4366 views)
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Nah... [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't find PJ's depiction of Beorn to be particularly serious. He looks like Michael J Fox in Teen Wolf.

"Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time." -Christopher Tolkien


Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 28 2017, 11:22am

Post #7 of 13 (4277 views)
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At first I think that too [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
I love Tom Bombadil in the book but think it would have been hard to make him anything but ridiculous in a movie.


But then I had always thought that same way about the singing dwarves cleaning the dishes and putting them away in Bilbo's house. I could never imagine how they could make that work in a film and it turned out to be one of my favorite parts in AUJ.

On the other hand in the case of Beorn I do agree the believability of his fearsome ability to change the course of an entire battle later on would have been undermined by portraying him as comical in his introductory scenes.

I also did takeaway some humor in his interactions with the dwarves as it was.

Also just one of those little things I noticed - his eyes. Not sure if or how they enhanced them in some way, but I felt they had a subtle not-quite-ordinary-human color, intensity and brightness which I thought really worked.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 28 2017, 6:13pm

Post #8 of 13 (4256 views)
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Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

But once they got rid of the talking purse you knew it was going to be LOTR-Lite rather than Hardcore Hobbit. I especially missed one of my favorite parts:

He picked up the hobbit and laughed: “Not eaten up by Wargs or goblins or wicked bears yet I see”; and he poked Mr. Baggins’ waistcoat most disrespectfully. “Little bunny is getting nice and fat again on bread and honey,” he chuckled. “Come and have some more!”

*sigh*

******************************************

"We’re orcs of the Misty Mountains,
Our singing’s part of canon.
We do routines and chorus scenes
While dancing with abandon.
We killed Isildur in the Gladden,
To help Sauron bring Armageddon!"

-From "Spamwise The Musical"


(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jun 28 2017, 6:16pm)


dormouse
Half-elven


Jun 28 2017, 7:55pm

Post #9 of 13 (4240 views)
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It makes sense, and it's a fair point....... [In reply to] Can't Post

Only for me, there is an element of lightness in Beorn, which perhaps comes more from his house than from Beorn himself. The house has 'comfortable refuge' written all over it - it's all so beautifully designed and made, and there are the lupins on the way, Beorn's own garden, the horses and all the carved wood to provide colour and relief from the Wild and the chase.
I'd say there are even hints of humour in the portrayal of Beorn. It would have been nice to see him tease Bilbo as he does in the book, but I think there's a hint of teacing there, particularly in the EE scenes.
I think animals serving at table would have been almost impossible to pull off, even with CGI, without losing the dangerous edge which is also part of Beron's character

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


Hanarr
The Shire

Jun 29 2017, 6:46pm

Post #10 of 13 (4141 views)
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Beorn's eyes [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Also just one of those little things I noticed - his eyes. Not sure if or how they enhanced them in some way, but I felt they had a subtle not-quite-ordinary-human color, intensity and brightness which I thought really worked.


Yes, this is shown in the DoS appendices. Originally they had bear Beorn with blue eyes same as Mikael Persbrandt has, and then decided to give them both brown eyes. The pupils are digitally enlarged on human Beorn, so he has that not quite human and somewhat wild look.


AshNazg
Gondor


Jul 9 2017, 8:55pm

Post #11 of 13 (3898 views)
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One area where CGI looks much better than practical... [In reply to] Can't Post

Beorn's eyes looked great.

I've always hated contact lenses in movies, it makes people's pupils look wonky. It's a shame that they didn't use CGI on Legolas and Thranduil's eyes as well. Especially considering Orlando Bloom's aversion to contacts Unsure


AshNazg
Gondor


Jul 9 2017, 9:53pm

Post #12 of 13 (3893 views)
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I think the animals serving could have worked... [In reply to] Can't Post

There are lots of things in The Hobbit that sound ridiculous, and yet when you see them (the dwarves singing, throwing plates, the Great Goblin singing, Radagast being pulled by bunnies) somehow they pull it off.

Lots of people train dogs to fetch slippers and newspapers and even do CPR. If they treated it like a really elaborate trick that Beorn taught them with his superior understanding of animals, it could just have worked. It would be an odd moment, but no weirder than Radaghast's stick insect.

Not that it needed to happen at all. I just think a bit of an energy lift would have evened atmosphere a bit. A song definitely would have been welcomed. I love the music of Middle-earth.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 9 2017, 10:02pm

Post #13 of 13 (3893 views)
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Odd, indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Lots of people train dogs to fetch slippers and newspapers and even do CPR. If they treated it like a really elaborate trick that Beorn taught them with his superior understanding of animals, it could just have worked. It would be an odd moment, but no weirder than Radaghast's stick insect.


That is perhaps a poor example. I found Radagast with the stick insect in his mouth to be a cringe-worthy moment that I could easily have done without. And I like stick insects. But then I also rolled my eyes at Radagast blowing smoke through his ears. Your mileage may vary.

Why 'Radaghast'? That spelling makes it seem like he should be an undead D&D monster (radaghasts and radaghouls).

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.” -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 9 2017, 10:04pm)

 
 

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